Uber is a popular taxi hailing mobile application that is now expanding to Asia, starting in Singapore. The company is testing out Mercedes Benz S-Class sedans, which is a bit more luxurious than their usual smaller Toyota cabs that their competitor in Singapore ComfortDelGro uses. Uber charges a premium for the luxury cars though. Fares are about 50% more expensive than the Toyota cab.
The base charge is $5 and there is a $10 minimum fare on top of that. Uber will be officially launching in Singapore starting in late February. It is not yet known where in Asia the company will be expanding next, but there is speculation that it will be in Tokyo or Hong Kong.
Uber has been dealing with legal issues ever since they launched in 2010. For example, the company received cease-and-desist letters from the California Public Utility Commission and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. They were also hit with legal issues in Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C.
Since taxi drivers are regulated by the government in Singapore, Uber’s drivers there will still need to have a taxi license. Uber can get around this rule by not registering itself as a taxi company, but by claiming that their cabs cannot be flagged down on the road. Their drivers are privately hailed from smartphones.
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