Brunei’s metered-fare structure is comparable to Singapore, Dart’s CEO said, adding that it has no immediate plans to lower the state-regulated tariff.
Instead, the startup, who has just been granted a provisional permit for its ride-sharing service, is banking on introducing regular promotions to entice more users.
According to Zul’Amali DP Hj Idris, Dart is happy to comply with the government-set fare, noting that it currently mirrors Singapore’s taxi fares. “I think the [metered fares] are reasonably priced,” he explained, adding that destinations in Brunei are more spaced out which is why the fare can seem steep.
In order to remain competitive and entice more users on its recently-approved service, it will provide incentives for both Dart users and drivers. This, he said, is where the value of using Dart service comes in.
“Basically, we want it to be so that users will never pay more than the displayed meter fare… [by applying our promotions], they may enjoy discounted rates,” he said.
As for Dart drivers, Zul’Amali said that drivers earn 70 per cent of the fare revenue and that there are other incentives in place as well.
“At the moment what we want is to create volume and get more people to use the service… Our target is to provide five-star service,” he said.
Since getting the green light to start its ride-sharing service last week, Dart has launched a new smartphone application to enhance user experience.
To reach its aim of providing five-star service, Dart is seeking “beta testers” to use its service for free and provide feedback. To be able to use the ride-sharing service, the new app has to be downloaded to replace its predecessor.
To date, it already has 43 registered Dart car driver. With interest to join picking up, Dart said it is expecting the number to rise to over 50 by the end of the week.
Speaking to The Scoop, Dart car driver Hj Md Faruq Aiman Abdullah, said that he sees the service as a “great opportunity” to supplement his income and add value to Brunei’s tourism sector. “I have a full-time job in the private sector, but I need to earn extra income to provide for my parents,” he said.
“I see huge potential in this company [Dart], especially since it can help make it easier for foreigners to get around,” the 26-year-old said, adding that he found registration process straightforward and that training is provided by Dart.
On the first day of service, Hj Md Faruq said he managed to give three rides, and he is positive that the number will grow as more people become aware. “All my customers have been locals so far. Brunei’s public transportation can be a bit of an in issue, so I am willing to be the solution.”