San Francisco technology startup Uber has launched its UberX model, a substantially cheaper version of the black car booking service, in close beta testing in Singapore.
Touting the project as “better, faster, cheaper”, Uber stated in an email to select users that they will now be able to enjoy the same experience with cheaper cars such as Toyota Corolla or Camry, for which fares will be significantly less.
For example, with UberX, a ride from Clarke Quay to Marina Bay Sands would cost S$11 (US$8.68), instead of the usual S$21 (US$16.56) with the normal Uber private cars.
It should also be noted that if there are promo codes applied on the account, they will not be valid on the UberX rides. Uber credit, however, will still be valid.
As the startup crosses into its second year of operations in Singapore, it has also changed its pricing model to base cost off time and distance, instead of the usual time or distance model. In her email to users, Uber’s Community Manager, Aysha Akbar said, “This means that your overall fare itself will most likely see a change of 0.1 per cent! Yes, rather a small amount we know – but definitely always want to keep you in the loop!”
Akbar added, “Secondly, till now, your drivers have been bearing all ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) charges. Moving ahead, to remain competitive, these ERP and toll charges will be passed onto rider fares. Singapore ERP charges change based on time of the day, and thus your fare will reflect this accordingly as well.”
We have reached out to Uber for comments. Watch this space.