Benchmarking ride-hailing regulation in global cities using mixed-method approach and social practice theory

Sreyus Palliyani, Der-Horng Lee

Article ID: 1338
Vol 5, Issue 2, 2021

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Ride-hailing or private hire has been around the globe for a decade now but even less in Asia. Singapore has had more than three revisions to its ride-hailing regulation in the six years since the arrival of the disruptive technology, the most for an Asian city. Often quoted in the list of cities with a commendable public transport policy, Singapore still manages to find a viable and significant position for ride-hailing. Singapore, to a large extent, has formulated a successful model based on current market parameters and, more importantly, an adaptive one that evolves constantly with the continually disruptive technology. But how does this compare to cities around the globe? Global cities have formulated different policy regulations for the sector, with each one of them enjoying varying degrees of success and failure. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach using qualitative and quantitative data, Singapore’s ride-hailing sector was benchmarked with chiefly nine global cities. The qualitative data was analyzed using the 3-element model of the social practice theory as an alternative to conventional behavioral studies, thereby eliminating bias on the commuters and rather shifting focus to the practice. The findings were validated by statistical analysis of quantitative data, namely, trip information from the ride-hailing sector in Singapore and driver earnings. The unique addition of the research to ride-hailing policy is the comprehension of the commonalities and patterns across industrial and technological disruption, practice and policy irrespective of sectoral variations thanks to the utilization of the social practice theory. The first-of-its-kind policy exercise in the sector can be repeated for any city, which is a direct testament to the simplicity and exhaustivity of the methodology, benefitting both operators and investors through equitable policy formulation.


benchmark; ride-hailing; transport policy; social practice theory; transport regulation

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