November 11, 2015 / 3:20 AM / 3 years ago

Uber rival GrabTaxi plans carpooling service in Singapore

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Ride-hailing app GrabTaxi, which competes with Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] in southeast Asia, is planning to launch a carpooling service in Singapore, one of the most expensive cities in the world to own a car.

A photographer (C) arranges taxi-booking app GrabTaxi's fleet of seven luxury cars for a photoshoot before they start picking passengers in Singapore September 15, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su

“GrabHitch hits the sweet spot for people who want a door-to-door transport service, but prefer not to pay a premium above public train or bus fares,” Tan Hooi Ling, co-founder of GrabTaxi, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Singapore, which levies high taxes on car owners, introduced rules for carpooling earlier this year, which allow the driver to accept compensation, either monetary or in kind, from the passenger but not for profit.

GrabHitch, which will be launched to all consumers in Singapore by end-2015, will compete with existing services and websites, such as Ryde and Tripda.

GrabTaxi, which counts Japanese telecoms firm SoftBank Corp, China Investment Corporation, and a unit of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings [TEM.UL] as shareholders, has raised about $700 million since it was launched in 2012.

Reporting By Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Miral Fahmy

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