COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF)

On 16 December 2020, it was announced that the Government will set aside an additional $133 million, on top of the amounts committed towards the Special Relief Fund and Extended Special Relief Fund (collectively “SRF”) between January and March 2021, to create a dedicated COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (“CDRF”) to provide sector-specific support for taxi and chauffeured private hire car (“PHC”) drivers. The CDRF will replace the SRF and the Self-employed Person Income Relief Scheme for taxi and PHC drivers from January 2021.

Following the conclusion of the SRF on 31 December 2020 and 17 January 2021 for taxi main hirers and PHC drivers respectively, the CDRF will provide sector-specific support for taxi and PHC drivers for the following periods:

  • 1 January 2021 to 29 June 2021 (inclusive) for taxi main hirers; and
  • 18 January 2021 to 16 July 2021 (inclusive) for PHC drivers.

CDRF Criteria

  • All existing drivers who have qualified for the SRF under any of the three tranches of Point-to-Point Support Package (PPSP, PPSP2 and PPSP3) respectively; and
  • [NEW!] Active drivers who have completed an average of 200 trips per month from 1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020 (inclusive).
  • Facilitating PHC Operators1 will notify these drivers of their eligibility by 18 January 2021.
  • The CDRF payment will be disbursed per vehicle. Each vehicle will receive no more than $20/day for the first 90 days and no more than $15/day for the last 90 days of the CDRF period from the Government. Eligible PHC drivers who shared a vehicle with other eligible PHC drivers during the Qualifying Period2 will have their CDRF payment apportioned equally with any other eligible PHC drivers sharing that vehicle.3
  • Eligible PHC drivers will have to continue maintaining an active driver account with their Facilitating PHC Operator, and possess a valid Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence or Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence to receive the CDRF payment. Eligible PHC drivers whose Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence, Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence or driver account with the Facilitating PHC Operator has been suspended or terminated will not receive the CDRF payment for the period of suspension or termination (as applicable).
  • To receive the CDRF payment for a relevant month during the Disbursement Period4, Eligible PHC drivers must complete at least one trip with their Facilitating PHC Operator in the preceding month.
  • Eligible Taxi or PHC Drivers under any stay-home notice, quarantine order, leave of absence, hospitalization leave or certified sick leave (each a “work absence order” and collectively, the “work-absence orders”) shall only receive the CDRF if they do not receive full reimbursement or compensation for their vehicle rental as a result of any work absence order(s) issued to them.
  • Eligible PHC drivers shall only nominate ONE Facilitating PHC operator to disburse the CDRF payment.
     

[1] ”Facilitating PHC Operators” refers to Go-Jek, Grab, Ryde and TADA.

[2] ”Qualifying Period” refers to 1st October to 31st October 2020, 1st November to 30th November 2020, and 1st December to 31st December 2020. In the case of existing drivers who have qualified for the SRF under any of the three tranches of Point-to-Point Support Package (PPSP, PPSP2 and PPSP3) respectively, “Qualifying Period” refers to the period which was used for the assessment of the drivers’ SRF eligibility.

[3] Eligible PHC drivers who previously received a portion of the SRF (due to the sharing of vehicles with other drivers) shall have their CDRF apportioned in a similar manner.

[4] “Disbursement period” for PHCs refers to 18 January 2021 to 16 July 2021 (inclusive).

 

Terms and Conditions Governing the Disbursement of Government’s COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF)

The acceptance of the ‘COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund– Operator Nomination’  Form by the LTA and the disbursement of the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (“CDRF”) shall be subject to the terms and conditions set out herein.

1.     CDRF Disbursement Period

1.1   The CDRF in respect of PHC drivers shall be disbursed from 18 January 2021 to 16 July 2021 (both dates inclusive) (“PCDRF Period”) by the ride-hail service operators known as Go-Jek, Grab, Ryde and TADA (“Facilitating PHC Operators”) to chauffeured private hire car drivers (“PHC Drivers”) who meet the eligibility criteria under Clause 2.5 or 2.6 (“Eligible PHC Drivers”).

1.2   The CDRF in respect of taxi drivers shall be disbursed from 1 January 2021 to 29 June 2021 (both dates inclusive) (“TCDRF Period”) by taxi service operators (“Taxi Operators”) to taxi drivers who meet the eligibility criteria under Clause 2.2 (“Eligible Taxi Drivers”).

1.3   For the purpose of these terms and conditions, references to “Eligible Drivers” shall refer to Eligible Taxi Drivers and Eligible PHC Drivers collectively, and references to “CDRF Period” shall refer to TCDRF Period and PCDRF Period as applicable.

1.4   The CDRF disbursed to Eligible Taxi Drivers is made up of two components: (a) a fixed sum determined by LTA (“LTA Attributable Sum”), and (b) a discretionary sum determined by the Taxi Operator (“Operator Attributable Sum”). The CDRF disbursed to Eligible PHC Drivers only comprises the LTA Attributable Sum.

1.5   The LTA Attributable Sum shall be $20 per day for the first 90 days of the CDRF Period and $15 per day for the last 90 days of the CDRF Period.

1.6   The Operator Attributable Sum payable to Eligible Taxi Drivers shall be determined by the relevant Taxi Operator.

1.7   Eligible Taxi Drivers who meet the criteria stipulated at Clause 2.3(a)ii will receive a part of the CDRF as the Taxi Operator may determine in its sole discretion, bearing in mind any other Eligible Taxi Driver who has entered into a hiring agreement on a part-time or ad hoc basis with the Taxi Operator under the scheme titled ‘Taxi Share’ or such other similar scheme, arrangement or agreement (“Taxi-Share Agreement”).

1.8   Eligible PHC Drivers who share a chauffeured private hire car with other PHC Drivers (who are also Eligible PHC Drivers) will receive an equal part of the CDRF disbursed as between all Eligible PHC Drivers.

1.9   Eligible Taxi Drivers who share their taxis with taxi drivers who have been hired by other Eligible Taxi Drivers under any scheme that is not a Taxi-Share Agreement are encouraged to share the CDRF with the other taxi drivers.

1.10  The CDRF will be paid to Eligible Drivers by their Taxi Operator or nominated Facilitating PHC Operator (as the case may be).  Eligible Drivers and their Taxi Operator or Facilitating PHC Operator (as the case may be) shall mutually agree on the manner the CDRF is to be paid.

1.11   Under no circumstance will LTA be responsible or liable for any delay or failure (whether intentional or negligent) by a relevant Taxi Operator or nominated Facilitating PHC Operator to pay the CDRF (or any part thereof) to Eligible Drivers.

2.      Eligibility Criteria

2.1   For the avoidance of doubt, LTA’s acceptance of a Taxi Driver or PHC Driver’s submission of the ‘COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) - Operator Nomination’ Form does not constitute a representation by LTA that the Taxi Driver or PHC Driver meets the relevant eligibility criteria set out in this Clause 2.

Eligible Taxi Drivers

2.2   A Taxi Driver must fulfill the eligibility criteria in Clause 2.3 to be eligible to receive the CDRF in respect of any particular day (“Eligible Taxi Driver”).

2.3   The eligibility criteria are as follows:

(a) The Taxi Driver has entered into –

i. either an agreement with a Taxi Operator to hire a Taxi to be used for the provision of street-hail and on-demand passenger transport services in that Taxi and which is not a Taxi-Share Agreement; or

ii. a Taxi-Share Agreement; and

(b) The Taxi Driver is not concurrently receiving the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) from Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

2.4   For the avoidance of doubt, Eligible Taxi Drivers do not need to nominate any Taxi Operator. Payment of the CDRF will be made by the Eligible Taxi Driver's Taxi Operator.

Eligible PHC Drivers

2.5   A PHC Driver must fulfill the following criteria to be eligible to receive the CDRF in respect of any particular day:

(a)  The PHC Driver has held a valid vocational licence as at 31 December 2020 and continues to hold a valid vocational licence for the entire PCDRF Period;

(b)  The PHC Driver maintains an active driver account with his or her Facilitating PHC Operator for the entire PCDRF Period;

(c)  The PHC Driver has completed an average of at least two hundred (200) trips per calendar month for the period from October 2020 to December 2020 (inclusive). For the purpose of calculating the average trips completed per calendar month under this sub-clause 2.5(c), the individual must have commenced the trips on or after the first calendar day of the calendar month;

(d)  The PHC Driver has completed at least one (1) trip with the Facilitating PHC Operator in the month preceding the relevant month for which the CDRF is being disbursed; and

(e)  The PHC Driver is not concurrently receiving the CRG from MSF.

2.6   Notwithstanding Clause 2.5, a PHC Driver who has previously received any sums under the Special Relief Fund and Extended Special Relief Fund shall be eligible to receive the CDRF in respect of any particular day, even if the PHC Driver does not fulfill Clause 2.5(c).

2.7   Notwithstanding Clause 2.5, a PHC Driver under any stay-home notice, quarantine order, leave of absence, hospitalization leave or certified sick leave (each a “work absence order” and collectively, the “work-absence orders”) shall be eligible to receive the CDRF notwithstanding Clause 2.5(d), if the PHC Driver does not receive full reimbursement or compensation for vehicle rental as a result of any work absence order(s) issued. For the purposes of this Clause 2.7, “certified sick leave” shall mean certification to be unfit for work or duty by a medical practitioner registered under the Medical Registration Act (Cap. 174) or Dental Registration Act (Cap. 76).

2.8   An Eligible PHC Driver must nominate one (1) of the Facilitating PHC Operators, with whom the Eligible PHC Driver holds and maintains an active driver account, from which the CDRF is to be received. LTA will not be obliged to confirm the nomination with the Eligible PHC Driver and shall not be held liable in respect of any loss that may be suffered by the Eligible PHC Driver in connection with LTA acting in accordance with the nomination.

2.9   The nomination under Clause 2.8 shall apply for the entire CDRF Period and cannot be changed, unless:

2.9.1         the Eligible PHC Driver makes a request in writing to LTA;

2.9.2         the criteria set out in Clauses 2.5 and 2.6 are met vis-à-vis the Eligible PHC Driver and the alternative Facilitating Private Hire Car Operator that the Eligible PHC Driver seeks to nominate; and

2.9.3         LTA consents in writing to such change in nomination. Any consent given by LTA may be subject to such terms and conditions, which LTA may in its sole and absolute discretion, impose.

2.10   For the avoidance of doubt, Eligible Drivers who receive the CDRF shall not be eligible for the CRG under MSF, and vice versa. Drivers who do not qualify for the CDRF may apply for the CRG if they meet the eligibility criteria.

3.       General

3.1   Notwithstanding Clause 2, LTA shall have sole and absolute discretion to determine whether any driver is an Eligible Driver and whether or not the CDRF should be disbursed to such driver.

3.2   LTA’s decisions on all matters, including the determination referred to in Clause 3.1 above, shall be final and binding, and LTA shall not be obliged to provide any reasons for its decision. LTA and the relevant Taxi Operator (or Facilitating PHC Operator, as the case may be) shall not be obliged to correspond with any individual or any other party on any matter in relation to the CDRF.

3.3   Subject to Clauses 3.1 and 3.2 above, individuals who have been determined not to be Eligible Drivers may submit an appeal to LTA, for further consideration of that individual’s eligibility. For the avoidance of doubt, Clauses 3.1 and 3.2 above shall apply to the appeal.

3.4   The Eligible Driver acknowledges that if it is found that the Eligible Driver has breached any of the Terms and Conditions, or if LTA in its sole and absolute discretion determines that the Eligible Driver is not in fact eligible to receive the applicable CDRF, the relevant Taxi Operator or Facilitating PHC Operator may require the return of any disbursements made. Any CDRF not so returned may be recovered as a debt.

3.5   The Eligible Driver undertakes to indemnify and hold LTA harmless from any loss, liability, claim or demand (including legal fees on a solicitor and client basis), made by any third party under any cause of action whatsoever due to or arising out of or in connection with the CDRF and these Terms and Conditions.

3.6   These Terms and Conditions are governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Singapore and the Eligible Driver hereby agrees to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Singapore courts.

3.7   LTA’s rights and remedies under these Terms and Conditions are cumulative and are in addition to and without prejudice to any rights or remedies that LTA may have at law or in equity. Further, no exercise by LTA of any right or remedy under these Terms and Conditions shall operate to hinder or prevent the exercise by LTA of any other right or remedy under these Terms and Conditions, or any other right or remedy available to LTA at law or in equity.

4.       Personal Data

4.1   The information provided in the completed application form submitted over http://go.gov.sg/cdrf-opnom (or http://go.gov.sg/cdrf-latenom), will remain confidential and used by LTA and the relevant Taxi Operator (or Facilitating PHC Operator) solely for the purposes of evaluating the Eligible Driver’s application and verifying the Eligible Driver’s eligibility for the applicable CDRF. However, LTA may disclose the information (including personal data) contained in the completed application form submitted over http://go.gov.sg/cdrf-opnom (or http://go.gov.sg/cdrf-latenom), if the disclosure is required and/or permitted by law.

4.2   Pursuant to Clause 2.10, the information provided in the completed application form submitted over http://Go.gov.sg/cdrf-opnom (or http://Go.gov.sg/cdrf-latenom), will remain confidential and used by LTA and the Ministry of Social and Family Development for the purposes of evaluating and verifying the Applicant’s eligibility for the CRG announced by the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

5.       Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act

5.1   A person who is not a Party to these Terms and Conditions shall have no right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act (Cap. 53B) to enforce any of its terms.

6.       Amendments to these Terms and Conditions

6.1   LTA reserves the sole and absolute discretion to amend and update these Terms and Conditions at any time without notice to Eligible Drivers. It is the Eligible Drivers’ responsibility to check http://go.gov.sg/cdrf-info for any amendments or updates.

6.2   The Eligible Driver acknowledges and agrees that it is his or her personal responsibility to review these Terms and Conditions periodically and to keep himself or herself updated of any amendments thereto.

6.3   Eligible Drivers shall be deemed to accept any amendments of these Terms and Conditions by LTA, whether or not the Eligible Drivers are notified of such amendments, by virtue of their continued reception of the CDRF from the relevant Taxi Operator or Facilitating PHC Operator.

7.       Enquiries

7.1     Eligible Drivers should provide their feedback to, and work with, their respective Taxi Operators or Facilitating PHC Operators (as the case may be) with regard to any issues in relation to payments of the CDRF.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF)

1.       What is the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF)?

The CDRF is a sector-specific scheme to help taxi and private hire car (PHC) drivers affected by COVID-19 defray business costs and to tide them over this period of economic uncertainty and depressed taxi/PHC ridership. It replaces the existing Special Relief Fund (SRF) under the Point-to-Point Support Package (PPSP) and the Self-employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) for taxi and PHC drivers from January 2021. The CDRF will mirror the key elements of SRF, e.g. eligibility criteria based on trip count, disbursement through operators.

2.       What is the duration of CDRF?

The CDRF will last for six months from January to June 2021.

3.       What happens to SRF payouts when CDRF starts in January 2021?

The CDRF will replace the SRF and the SIRS for taxi and PHC drivers from January 2021. Drivers who are currently receiving SRF payouts will be automatically transitioned to receive CDRF payouts.

4.       Given that P2P ridership has picked up, why is there a need to continue to provide relief to taxi and PHC drivers?

While Phase Two of Singapore’s re-opening saw the resumption of some activities, taxi and PHC ridership remains ~25% lower than pre-COVID levels. We do not expect P2P ridership to return to pre-COVID levels in the near term, given limited tourism activities while many employees continue to work-from-home. At the same time, passengers are also making shorter trips, resulting in lower fares per trip, compared to pre-COVID levels. The CDRF is calibrated and provided to help taxi and PHC drivers tide over this period of economic uncertainty and depressed taxi/PHC ridership.

5.       Why is the amount for CDRF higher than the SRF and how was it sized?

We have engaged many taxi and PHC drivers and understand the continued concern among them regarding their incomes and livelihoods. This is how we have decided on the CDRF amount, which replaces both the SRF and the SIRS for taxi and PHC drivers from January 2021. The CDRF will provide a relief quantum that is higher than the SRF, at a monthly payout of $600 per vehicle for three months from January – March 2021, and subsequently at $450 per vehicle per month for the next three months from April – June 2021.

6.       How do Taxi and PHC drivers qualify for CDRF?

All existing SRF recipients will automatically qualify for CDRF. LTA will also automatically include new PHC drivers who joined the sector in 2020, if they meet LTA’s eligibility criteria. 

7.       What are the differences between the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)’s COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) and the CDRF? Why are taxi and PHC drivers ineligible to apply for the MSF’s COVID-19 Recovery Grant if they are already receiving the CDRF?

CDRF is a new sector-specific scheme intended to support taxi and PHC drivers who remain affected by COVID-19. On the other hand, MSF’s CRG is a broad-based scheme that is intended to support employees and self-employed persons who remain financially impacted by COVID-19. Since both the CRG and the CDRF serve similar intents, taxi and PHC drivers should only receive support through one of these two schemes.

8.       Can taxi and PHC drivers who do not qualify for the CDRF apply for MSF’s CRG?

Taxi and PHC drivers who do not qualify for CDRF can approach MSF to apply for the CRG if they meet the grant’s eligibility criteria.

9.       How much assistance has been disbursed through SRF since the first tranche was announced on 13 February 2020?

As of 30 November 2020, the Government has disbursed about $112 million in SRF to over 40,000 taxi and PHC drivers.

Taxi Drivers

10.   How will taxi drivers know if they qualify for CDRF?

All existing main hirers are eligible to receive CDRF through their taxi companies.

11.   How will a relief taxi driver benefit from CDRF?

The monthly CDRF payouts will be provided to the main hirer. Main hirers are strongly encouraged to share the amount received with their relief drivers. Relief drivers may wish to approach their respective taxi companies for further clarification.

12.   What can a relief driver do if the main hirer is not willing to share CDRF with the relief taxi hirer?

Main hirers are encouraged to share the amount received with their relief drivers. Any disputes between drivers should be raised to their respective operators.

13.   I was formerly a PHC driver who had switched over to driving a taxi. Am I eligible for CDRF?

To be eligible for CDRF:

a)       you must be the main hirer; and

b)      continue driving the taxi during the period of assistance i.e. January – June 2021.

You will not be eligible to receive CDRF through your PHC operator if you are receiving it as a taxi driver.

14.   How will yellow top taxi drivers receive the CDRF payout?

Similar to past SRF tranches, LTA will contact yellow top owners directly on the disbursement process.

PHC Drivers

15.   How will PHC drivers know if they qualify for CDRF?

All existing PHC drivers who qualify for SRF will automatically qualify for CDRF. Similar to the SRF, eligible drivers will receive payouts if they complete at least one trip in the preceding month of the CDRF disbursement period with their Facilitating PHC Operator. Eligible drivers will be informed by the respective Facilitating PHC Operator of their eligibility.

16.   Will drivers who are on multiple platforms be able to receive more CDRF payouts?

No. Driving for multiple platforms will not increase the CDRF payouts provided. Drivers will be required to nominate their preferred Facilitating PHC Operator to disburse their CDRF.

17.   Will PHC drivers be able to change their operator nomination for CDRF?

Yes. Drivers will be able to do a re-nomination of their Facilitating PHC Operator to receive their CDRF payouts.

18.   I do not meet the criteria for CDRF as I provide limousine services. Can these trips be counted?

The CDRF, like the SRF, is intended to help drivers who provide taxi and PHC services to the masses prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not consider limousine services and other niche transport services as eligible trips under the CDRF. PHC drivers who do not qualify for CDRF can approach MSF to apply for CRG if they meet the CRG’s eligibility criteria.

19.   I am a PHC driver sharing a vehicle with one or more PHC driver(s) who is/are eligible for CDRF. Will I need to share the CDRF?

Similar to the approach for SRF, if you are eligible for CDRF, your CDRF quantum will be pro-rated according to the number of CDRF-eligible shared vehicle drivers during the eligibility period. For example:

  • If there are 2 eligible shared vehicle drivers, each driver will be entitled to half of the relief quantum from the Government i.e. $300/month from Jan–Mar 21 and $225/month from Apr–Jun 21.

20.   I was formerly a taxi driver who had switched over to driving a PHC. Am I eligible for CDRF?

You may enquire with LTA on your eligibility status. PHC drivers who do not qualify for CDRF can approach MSF to apply for the COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) if they meet the grant’s eligibility criteria.

21.   How will the Government ensure that taxi and PHC drivers do not receive both the CRG and the CDRF (i.e. double-dipping)?

LTA and MSF have worked closely to operationalise an approach at the backend to ensure double dipping does not occur. Drivers who qualify for CDRF will also need to acknowledge specific terms and conditions that state they will not be considered for CRG.

22.   If I am a P2P driver who leaves the sector in 2021, will I be able to qualify for CRG?

You may enquire with MSF on your eligibility for the CRG. LTA will work with MSF at the backend to ascertain that you have left the P2P sector, and cease all CDRF payments, before your CRG application is processed.

23.   If I am a CRG recipient and join the P2P sector in 2021, will I be able to qualify for CDRF?

LTA will assess new drivers’ appeals for the CDRF. If your appeal for the CDRF is successful, your CRG payouts will cease.

 

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