ComfortDelGro, Gojek partner to tackle driver shortage as ride demand surges in Singapore

Key Points
  • Singapore's largest taxi operator ComfortDelGro will allow ride-hailing app Gojek access to its taxis to address the shortage of private-hire drivers in Singapore.
  • Private-hire companies have been rushing to attract more drivers to meet surging passenger demand after the city-state lifted pandemic restrictions.
  • It's a win-win situation, say both companies, to boost earnings opportunities for drivers and shorten waiting times for passengers.
A ComfortDelGro Corp. taxi travels along an expressway in Singapore
Nicky Loh | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Singapore's largest taxi operator ComfortDelGro and ride-hailing app Gojek said they would work together to tackle issues in the transportation industry, including a shortage of private-hire drivers.

As part of a two-year collaboration, the companies said Monday they will explore letting users book ComfortDelGro's taxis via the Gojek app.

ComfortDelGro operates a combined fleet of about 9,000 Comfort and CityCab taxis.

Gojek-competitor Grab already offers Strides Taxi – formerly SMRT Taxi – as the standard taxi option in Singapore.

ComfortDelGro and Gojek said they will also look into sharing resources like "electric vehicle and ancillary revenue opportunities, as well as support solutions like insurance, driver training and vehicle maintenance."

Private-hire and taxi companies have been trying to attract more drivers in Singapore to meet passenger demand, which surged after the city-state lifted pandemic restrictions. Many drivers left the industry during the pandemic as Covid measures hurt demand and increasing costs cut into margins. This led to longer waiting times and high fares when Singapore reopened.

"By looking at how we can improve the fulfilment rates, we are essentially improving driver welfare. Better fulfilment rates translate to more earnings for drivers, and that in turn, will encourage vocational licence holders to consider rejoining the P2P (point-to-point) industry," said ComfortDelGro private mobility group CEO Jackson Chia, in the press release.

Gojek Singapore's general manager, Lien Choong Luen, said the partnership is "a win-win for all."

"[Combining] our fleets will enable us to better meet the increasing demand for rides and boost the availability of orders for drivers, increasing their earning opportunities while at the same time reducing waiting times for passengers," he said.

The joint statement further added that more details will be announced over the next few months.

Last week, Grab and Gojek said they are "supportive" of the Singapore government's move to expand gig worker protection, including in CPF contributions and injury compensation, starting in 2024.