Unlicensed vehicles can’t offer cross-border services
LTA clarifies regulation as Sameride launches Singapore-Johor carpool service today
Foreign-registered vehicles are not allowed to provide cross-border passenger transport services for hire without a public service vehicle licence (PSVL), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has said.
The LTA clarified the regulation in response to queries from The Straits Times about Sameride, which is due to launch a Singapore-Johor Baru carpool service today.
Sameride noted on its website that more than 300 commuters have pre-registered for the service on its app over the past two weeks.
It said its first route for commuters was set up in 2016 in the DC metro area in the US.
Sameride estimates that users of the Singapore-Johor service could cut the cost of their commute by up to 50 per cent compared with taxis.
The app also aims to expedite travel time by reducing traffic on the cross-border route.
The LTA said on Saturday it takes a "serious view towards" foreign-registered vehicles illegally providing hire-and-reward services and said it will carry out strong enforcement action.
It has advised the public not to engage cross-border hire services by people using unlicensed vehicles.
The LTA said such vehicles may not be sufficiently insured against third-party liabilities and passengers may not be able to claim insurance if they are involved in accidents during their journey.
People providing hire-and-reward services, including cross-border carpooling, without a valid PSVL can be jailed for up to six months, fined up to $3,000 or both. The vehicle used may also be forfeited.
But commuters who use such services are not seen as breaking any law.
A 23-year-old who wants to be known only as Mr Neo said: "The door-to-door service is a great plus, and it also helps to save time as queuing at the customs can take up to 11/2 hours. It is much faster when you are using a car."
A commuter who wants to be known only as Mr Ong has been travelling between Johor and Singapore for over 25 years.
He told The Straits Times: "Such a service has helped people travel more comfortably and not have to leave their house that early compared to when using public transport.
"It also helps to lower cost and the carbon footprint.
"It usually costs between $10 and $25, depending on where the starting location is."
ST understands Sameride has not sought LTA approval to launch the service.