With stricter measures in place since the outbreak of COVID-19, it is unsurprising that many car-sharing services have been suspended here in Singapore.
However, with circuit breaker measures easing, how does this impact local car-sharing services, and should you continue taking them?
(Related Story: COVID-19: Singapore and Malaysia to set up green lane for cross-border travel)
DEMAND FOR CAR-SHARING SERVICES
Car-sharing services such as BlueSG and Car Club have seen a rebound in demand ever since the Phase 2 reopening on 2 June 2020. Just recently, BlueSG has managed to hit 1 million rentals despite the overall slump during Phase 1 of circuit breaker.
Drive Lah’s co-founder Dirk-Jan ter Horst had noted that this increase in demand is likely due to consumer perception on car-sharing being a safer option as compared to taking public transport. He also noticed that there is a shift towards users wanting to have their personal spaces when commuting, and treat car-sharing services as a way to minimise contact with the virus.
IS IT SAFE TO TAKE CAR-SHARING SERVICES?
Many consumers are concerned about who has used the car before them, and whether it is a way of potential spread of the virus, However, car-sharing services have ramped up efforts to ensure the safety of each customer via several measures.
- MINIMAL TO NO CONTACT HANDOVERS
Car-sharing services have ensured that handovers of cars will be done with minimal contact, with some even being contactless. Contactless pick up and drop off points are designated to prevent any close contact of the previous and next owner.
- STRINGENT WIPE-DOWN PROCEDURES
Besides minimising contact, car-sharing services have also ensured that regular and thorough wipe-downs of cars with disinfectants are conducted before and after each drive.
- EMPLOYEE SAFETY MEASURES
Employees are also made to adhere to stringent cleanliness standards by wearing masks at all times, as well as go through health guideline trainings to ensure the highest levels of safety standards are met.
HOW ABOUT CARPOOLING SERVICES?
Car-pooling services are also allowed under Phase 2, but only under official ride-hailing platforms or with licensed private hire vehicles (PHVs). Informal arrangements for carpooling services made via Telegram or WhatsApp groups are illegal, as stated by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
While car-sharing services are generally safe, it is still important to maintain your personal hygiene and safety to ensure your next drive is a safe and pleasant one.