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Finland transport subscription startup MaaS Global partners ComfortDelGro for Singapore launch

ANOTHER startup in the transport space that offers subscription packages for various forms of transportation is arriving in Singapore.

Finland's MaaS Global on Monday said it would pilot its subscription service here via its Whim mobile app with a partnership with ComfortDelGro, with a commercial launch expected in the first quarter of 2019.

MaaS Global - which stands for Mobility as a Service - works by offering subscription to commuters to all means of transport, from train, bus to taxis, car sharing and bikes. Subscribers can choose a monthly package, or just pay as they go.

It claims to be the world’s first "mobility as a service" operator, and works on a similar concept as Singapore's MobilityX, the transportation startup backed by Singapore subway operator SMRT Corp. MobilityX's app is named "Jalan", which means to walk in Malay, and is more generally used to mean a form of travel. 

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MaaS Global said it also plans to partner major car-rental companies, car-sharing, bike-share and scooter-share operators as well as public transport in Singapore. In its press statement, Kaj Pyyhtiä, the co-founder of MaaS Global, said the launch in Singapore via partnerships here is the perfect way to enter the Asian markets and make mobility as a service available in the region.

ComfortDelGro, which runs Singapore's largest fleet of taxis, will provide users with the taxi option of their journey, saying that commuters can transit from a train or bus, and finish the trip on a bicycle.

Ang Wei Neng, CEO of ComfortDelGro Singapore Taxi Business said the "seamless digital offering" will provide commuters with another channel to book ComfortDelGro taxis.

The Whim service is already running in Helsinki, Birmingham and Antwerp, with around 60,000 active users.