Taxi Availability for Commuters to be Improved

News Releases 23 Nov 2012 taxi availability

1. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has completed its study and consultation on new Taxi Availability (TA) indicators and standards to improve the availability of taxis on the roads, to better serve commuters. Commuters can expect more taxis on the roads with the implementation of the TA standards from 1 January 2013. 

2. The study on taxi availability was initiated with the National Taxi Association (NTA) and the taxi operators to ensure that taxis better fulfil their public transport role.  Given also the concessions accorded to them1, it is important that taxis are better utilised and made more available on the roads to serve commuters, especially during peak periods. Additionally, there is persistent feedback about the inadequate availability of taxis.

New Taxi Availability Standards from 1 January 2013

3.  The TA standards will be applied to individual taxi operators based on their respective fleet sizes. The standards take into consideration the taxi industry’s current performance; the need to ensure that there is adequate taxi supply on the road when demand is at its peak; and the need also for general taxi availability throughout the day.

4. The standards will be phased in progressively over the next three years to give taxi operators time to adjust. Details are in Annex A.

5. The performance of the taxi companies will be measured on a monthly basis.  During the first six months, from January to June 2013, no financial penalty will be imposed on the taxi operators if they fail to meet the standards. LTA will review this in June 2013. 

6. Taxi operators would need to attain at least 4 out of 6 ‘Passes’ over the first six months (and second six months) of every year, to expand their fleet in the corresponding six month period of the following year. Results for the January 2013 to June 2013 period will be used to determine if the taxi company can grow its taxi fleet in the period of January 2014 to June 2014. The growth will be capped at 2% p.a. (which was earlier announced as being the unconditional growth rate allowed for the transition period from August 2012 to December 2013, a growth rate roughly in line with the historical taxi ridership growth rate). 

7. LTA will monitor the effectiveness of the taxi availability framework and review it as necessary.

Measures to Complement Taxi Availability

8.  Following feedback from NTA and taxi drivers, to make it easier for taxi drivers to pick up and drop off passengers inside the Central Business District (CBD) where demand for taxis is high, LTA will further relax the CBD taxi rule2. From 1 January 2013, taxis will be allowed to pick up/drop off passengers along all roads within the CBD, except those with bus lanes during their operation hours3, and specific roads which are dangerous for all vehicles to stop at any time such as Finlayson Green, High Street, Orchard Link and Esplanade Drive. These adjustments will also make it more convenient for passengers in and going to the CBD, to hail a cab and to alight near their destination.

9. In addition, LTA will set up an online portal so that hirers and relief drivers can exchange information to facilitate matching. The portal will make it easier for taxi hirers to find relief drivers, and vice versa, and will also be used to disseminate information relevant to Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence (TDVL) holders.

10. Active drivers4 will get a 50% discount on their TDVL renewal fee5 and waiver on certain modules of the mandatory refresher course (e.g. street directory module).  These incentives and the new portal will be implemented in the first half of 2013.

[1] Taxi companies are accorded concessions such as lower road taxes for their taxis, and paying the Category A Prevailing Quota Premium (PQP) for the COEs even if the taxis are of Category B size.

[2] Currently, under the CBD taxi rule, from 7.30am to 8pm, Mondays to Saturdays (excluding public holidays), taxis are allowed to pick up and drop off passengers only at taxi stands/stops in the CBD; and along side roads in the CBD.

[3] For CBD roads with bus lanes, taxis will not be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers along the road (both on the side of the road with the bus lane, as well as the opposite side of the road if it is a one-way road) during the bus lane operation hours. The bus lane operation hours for normal bus lanes are Mon to Fri (7.30am to 9.30am and 5pm to 8pm, excluding Public Holidays), and for full day bus lanes – Mon to Sat (7.30am to 8pm, excluding Public Holidays).

[4] The drivers must show proof from the taxi companies that he/she has been driving regularly.

[5] The TDVL renewal fee is $40 every 3 years. With the discount, active TDVL holders need only pay $20

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