We refer to the letters on chauffeured vehicle services using private hire cars (The Straits Times, 4 June 2015).
Chauffeured vehicle services have long been available in the market, and have been commonly used for corporate trips, airport transfers, and special occasions such as weddings. They can only be provided by private hire cars, which must be covered by appropriate insurance for such purpose. Unlike taxis, private hire cars are not allowed to ply the roads for hire, or to pick up passengers at taxi stands, i.e. street hail. Only those who possess a Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence and drive taxis owned by taxi companies can do so. About 80% of all taxi trips today are by street hail.
Technology has made chauffeured vehicle services even more accessible to the general public, complementing taxi services. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been closely monitoring and checking on the chauffeured vehicle service industry to ensure that the providers adhere to the law. LTA is studying further measures to ensure commuter interests and in particular safety, given the recent growth and developments in such services, including stricter penalties for the improper use of private cars, and removing the current exemption for drivers of such services from obtaining a Vocational Licence.
LTA will continue to engage the various stakeholders and balance the need to protect commuter safety, and allowing for innovation in the private transport services industry.
Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations
Land Transport Authority