A Singapore hitch group, SG Hitch group, was set up on 26 Feb, on the messaging app Telegram.
The group aims to connect drivers and passengers directly, without the need for an intermediary.
Members of the group broadcast the details of when and where they are headed, and if there is a match, other members can privately message each other to discuss the trip.
Fares are worked out between the drivers and riders.
What’s different from regular private hire apps is that the drivers do not have to pay any commission.
However, according to Singapore’s regulations, drivers cannot offer more than two trips a day. Offenders may receive a fine of up to $3,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.
Many users commented that the SG Hitch Group is a good initiative.
One rider, in particular, Ms. Adel Tan, said that the group provides another avenue to look for transportation and for drivers who want to earn a little extra but not be committed to any companies.
Mr. Ronnie Teo, one of the many drivers, said that it is useful for drivers like him who wants to cover the cost of driving.
The group was created by a user who goes by the display name of Yuan Tim. He started it to provide users with a cheaper carpooling alternative.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ang Hin Kee, deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport said that the SG Hitch system is more orderly as riders pay directly to the drivers.
To give passengers peace of mind, Mr. Ang suggests that the drivers in the SG Hitch Group should declare their driving license and insurance to the administrators. He added that the existing operators are charging too much; as a result, the emergence of such systems.
Transport researcher Park Byung Joon, from Singapore University of Social Sciences, commented that this would unlikely pose a threat to the other carpooling services as it is efficient.
He also advised everyone to be careful as some people might have ill intentions.
Hmmmmmmm… Sure boh? Legal a not? Safe a not?