HACKNEY CARRIAGE drivers in the City State of Singapore have been told that 85 per cent of the fleet must be on the roads during the morning and evenning rush hour. Eighty five per cent of cabbies will also have to travel a daily minimum of 250km.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the new rules were an extension of the National Taxi Availability (NTA) framework introduced in 2013. A spokesman for the LTA said the percentage of taxis on the road had already increased from 82 per cent in 2012 to 87 per cent in 2014.
Of the six taxi companies operating however, only two, Comfort and CityCab have been able to meet all the requirements in 2014.
“Prime, another Singapore taxi company was fined $140,000 for not meeting the new criteria.”
Singapore National Taxi Association executive Ang Hin Kee, said: “The LTA could have gone further in helping taxi drivers with the challenges faced in meeting these requirements.
“The percentage of drivers doing shifts has already increased from 53 per cent in 2012 to 66 per cent in September of 2014. But single-shift cabbies continue to face difficulties in finding relief drivers due to a decline in the pool of Taxi Driver Vocational Licence (TDVL) holders and competition from taxi operators who are also searching for available drivers to take over as hirers.
“The NTA has suggested new TDVL drivers should join the trade as relief drivers first. With the majority of taxi drivers driving 12 hours a day, the key is to make the taxis work harder, not the drivers.