GrabTaxi launches carpooling service in Singapore

New service will attempt to encourage drivers with spare seats to pick up passengers heading the same way

Having setup GrabCar to take on rivals in the private car booking market, GrabTaxi has further expanded its plans by launching its new GrabHitch carpooling service in Singapore.

Billed as a way to meet new people, tackle congestion, save money and reduce pollution, GrabHitch allows private drivers to share their journey with other people going in the same direction.

Under Singapore’s carpool regulations, drivers can only accept two shared rides a day, but do not need to have commercial insurance. They are covered by their personal car insurance.

While prohibited from making any profit for the service, the GrabHitch drivers can accept money to cover the expenses of the journey, such as for fuel. Passengers must pay all fares through the company’s credit card payment service GrabPay.

GrabTaxi said all GrabHitch drivers will be thoroughly vetted, and will have to show their driving licence, car registration and proof of insurance. Further checks regarding driving offences will also be made.

Speaking to the Financial Times, GrabTaxi founder Anthony Tan said: "It will help in the massive congestion issues in Southeast Asia. It will help with reducing the carbon footprint and it will help by giving people a much more social experience."

GrabHitch is just the latest in a series of new offerings from Malaysia-based GrabTaxi.

It recently launched GrabBike in Indonesia and Vietnam, which connects consumers with motorcycle taxis, and has also piloted delivery service GrabExpress in Thailand and the Philippines. 

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