It’s 10pm on a Friday night. After working what seemed like 24 consecutive hours, you want nothing more than to go home.
You whip out your phone and open up the several ride-hailing apps you’ve installed, only realising that the fares are surging out of control everywhere…
We feel you. You might have “given up” on ride-hailing firms because of this.
But what if I told you that there’s a private-hire car service out there that not only promises more affordable fares but also collects zero commission from drivers as well?
And what if I told you that this firm has been operating quietly in the country for years??
Yes, we are talking about TADA, a ride-hailing firm unlike any other.
So, why exactly is TADA so special, and why sets it apart from its competitors?
Zero Commission From Drivers
Yes, you read that right. Zero. Commission.
TADA does not collect commission fees from drivers using its platform, which is quite different from what’s happening in the ride-hailing market together right now.
This zero-commission model is also the reason why riders like you and me can enjoy more affordable fares on TADA.
Why The Zero Commission?
You might think that when fares surge on all platforms, private-hire car drivers will earn a great deal of money.
Think back to the good old days of flagging for taxis.
The taxi fare is counted by distance and time spent on the trip, which ensures that the drivers’ cost of driving is covered.
But today, in the private-hire car industry, the fares are determined by demand and supply. This means that if there are many passengers in your area also booking a car, it will cause a surge in the trip fare.
And guess what, you may think that the driver is earning a lot because the fare you pay is very high but no!
Behind the rollercoaster of surge and fall, the only thing constant is a driver’s driving cost, such as petrol, car rental, maintenance, commission, etc.
With a 20% commission that drivers are paying at other platforms, he only takes home $24 even though you paid a $30 fare. Do you think this is fair?
But of course, when prices are sky-high (surging), private-hire drivers will still naturally chiong for the jobs because they earn more; but when the prices are low, they’re less likely to want to pick up jobs because the fare might make the entire job “not worth it”.
Just imagine, if the fare is $6, the driver only earns $4.80. At some places, he cannot afford to buy a meal (or drink) with this amount.
What TADA does is simple – it takes away the burden of having to pay (up to) 20% commission from drivers, which gives TADA “power” and room to keep the fares reasonable throughout the day and sometimes even cheaper compared to the other platforms during peak hours and rainy days.
For the driver to earn $24, the fare only needs to be $24! You don’t need to pay extra! Win-win for everybody right?
Being a zero-commission firm, TADA aspires to create a community where drivers and passengers are treated as equal members. This mindset reflects on the policies and little interesting features they implemented.
On TADA, a driver can choose to “Skip” or “Accept” an incoming job card while on other platforms, jobs would be assigned to him regardless of his preference for fares and distance.
The freedom of choice is much appreciated by drivers – they are also more likely to complete the trips without cancellations as they’re the ones to decide to pick up each and every job.
There’s also a “credit score” function in the app.
Passengers and drivers on TADA can see each other’s ratings and Acceptance Rates (AR) / Cancellation Rates (CR) right next to their profiles.
A 100% AR displayed next to a driver’s profile means that based on the recent rides, he has completed every job he’s accepted so far without cancelling on passengers.
Likewise, a 0% CR on the passenger’s profile means that he or she has never cancelled on a driver based on the recent record.
Since both passengers and drivers are given the 100% freedom to choose before booking / accepting a trip, they gotta take care of their own “credit scores” and win the trust from each other.
Okay, here’s the thing: Sometimes, it’s not just the price that matters. It’s how fast you can get a ride.
Say you’ve decided on TADA because prices on other apps are surging like nobody’s business, but no driver is picking up your call, what do you do??
Just suck thumb and pay 20 bucks for a 10-minute ride??
TADA has this function called the Smart Call, or sometimes, the “ownself surge ownself” button.
Basically, when you need a car quickly, press the “Smart Call” button to add $3 to your fare to make it more attractive for drivers to accept.
Chances are if you use this tactic during peak hours, your TADA fare after adding $3 will still be lower than the 2x or 3x surges you see on other platforms.
A Hidden Gem
If you’re wondering whether TADA is legitimate, since all you hear about is Grab, ComfortDelgro and GoJek, they are.
On 30 Oct 2020, it was reported that TADA is one of the four ride-hailing services granted a full license under the Point-to-Point (P2P) Passenger Transport Industry Act.
Due to TADA’s relatively small size, and the zero-commission policy they have been proudly sticking to since the beginning, TADA faces a tough task in competing with the 3 giants.
It can’t, for instance, invest heavily in self-promotion, which is why many of us aren’t even aware of its existence.
And for those who are wondering how TADA earns money to survive, they do it through two ways:
One, they collect a platform fee which ranges from $0.30 to $0.50, depending on the fare of the ride.
And two, they’ve launched TADA Fresh Market (www.tadafresh.com), a multi-wet market delivery platform that delivers fresh groceries from Tekka Market, Tiong Bahru Market and 216 Bedok market to customers’ doorstep, which contributes to the revenue to keep TADA going.
So, if you want to support a stand-up firm like TADA or simply add one more app to your ride-hailing rotation, you can download TADA-Ride Hailing here.
This article was first published on Goody Feed and written in collaboration with TADA.