- More taxis on the roads serving commuters since the introduction of TA standards; second year TA standards will further improve taxi availability.
- Second year TA standards and financial penalties have been adjusted, taking into account data and feedback from taxi drivers and companies.
1. Since the implementation of the Taxi Availability (TA) standards (see Annex A) on 1 January 2013, more taxis are on the roads serving commuters. The majority of taxi companies have at least 70% of their fleet on the roads during peak periods, and at least 70% of their fleet clock the minimum daily mileage of 250 km. Please refer to Annex B and Annex C for details.
Performance of Taxi Companies from January to September 2013
Percentage of taxis on the roads during peak periods
2. In the first nine months of 2013, Comfort, CityCab and SMRT consistently met the required standard, with at least 65% of their taxi fleet on the roads during the shoulder peak periods of 6am to 7am and 11pm to 12 midnight, and at least 70% during the peak periods of 7am to 11am and 5pm to 11pm. Trans-Cab and Premier met the standard for peak periods, but did not do so for the shoulder peak periods. Prime did not meet the standard for both the peak and shoulder peak periods.
Percentage of taxis with minimum daily mileage of 250km
3. Comfort, CityCab and Premier consistently met the standard, with at least 70% of their taxi fleet achieving the minimum daily mileage of 250km from January to September this year. SMRT met the standard from March to September 2013 while Trans-Cab met the requirements from April to September 2013. Prime did not meet the standard.
4. Taxi companies need to attain at least four out of six ‘Passes’ in each of the two indicators, 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. Based on the TA performance of the taxi companies from January to June 2013, Comfort, CityCab and SMRT would be able to grow their fleet in the first half of 2014. Their taxi fleet growth rate will be capped at 2% (per annum basis).
Second Year Taxi Availability Standards to Better Serve Commuters
5. To further improve taxi availability, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will apply the second year TA standards from 1 January 2014, as earlier announced. During the peak periods of 7am to 11am and 5pm to 11pm, the minimum percentage of taxis which should be on the road for each taxi company will be 80% of its total fleet, up from the 70% standard in the first year. The minimum percentage of taxis clocking the minimum daily mileage of 250km will also be 80%, as compared to the 70% standard in the first year.
Downward adjustment of second year TA standard for shoulder peak periods
6. For the shoulder peak periods of 6am to 7am and 11pm to 12 midnight, it was announced in November 2012 that the second year TA standard would be 75%.
7. However, a review of our data shows that there is lower demand and shorter waiting time at taxi stands in the city as well as the heartlands during these periods. Taxi call booking is also well catered. Since the current supply of taxis is able to meet the lower demand during these periods, we have decided to adjust downwards the TA standard required during the shoulder peak periods in the second year, from the original plan of 75%, to 60%. This recalibration is also in response to feedback from taxi drivers and taxi companies.
Taxi Fleet Growth Conditions and Financial Penalties in Second Year of Taxi Availability Framework
Taxi companies need to meet revised second year TA standards in 2014, in order to be eligible for taxi fleet growth in 2015
8. As per the taxi availability framework announced in November 2012, taxi companies would need to meet the revised second year TA standards in 2014, in order to qualify for growth of their taxi fleet in 2015.
However, only first year TA standards will be used to assess financial penalties, instead of the second year standards
9. As earlier announced, financial penalties will be imposed on taxi companies that are unable to meet the TA standards. This will come into effect on 1 January 2014 and will be applicable to companies that are unable to meet the TA standards consecutively for two months for the same indicator.
10. However, instead of using the second year TA standards for financial penalties in 2014, only the first year TA standards will be used (with the requirement for taxi availability during the shoulder peak periods lowered to 60%), to allow taxi companies more time to adjust to the higher second year TA standards.
11. In response to concerns that taxi companies would simply pass down any financial penalties they incur to taxi drivers, Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport, noted that if the companies perform in 2014 as they did recently, most of them should meet the first year TA standards, and consequently would not be subject to any financial penalties. He said: “I appreciate the hard work put in by our taxi drivers to meet the taxi availability standards, which is important to provide a high level of service to commuters. I would strongly urge that taxi companies, if they do fail the taxi availability standards, not to pass down the penalties they incur to the drivers, but help their drivers achieve these service and availability standards, and not expect the drivers to achieve them all on their own.”
12. Please see Annex D for the revised TA framework.
Further Measures to Improve Taxi Availability and Assist Taxi Drivers
13. To complement the TA framework and help shorten commuter waiting times at taxi stands, LTA will conduct a one-year taxi information system trial at five taxi stands from the second half of 2014. This will allow LTA to leverage on technology to monitor real-time information of commuter waiting times and share this with the taxi companies so that they can despatch their taxis to locations with high demand. These five taxi stands are located at Lucky Plaza, Paragon Shopping Centre, OG Building (Upper Cross Street), International Plaza and Hitachi Towers.
14. LTA had relaxed the Central Business District (CBD) taxi rule in January 2013 in conjunction with the introduction of the TA framework, to allow taxi drivers to pick up and drop off passengers along all roads within the CBD, except those with bus lanes during their operation hours1, and specific roads that are dangerous for all vehicles to stop at any time of the day, such as Finlayson Green, High Street, Orchard Link and Esplanade Drive. Feedback on this liberalisation has been positive from both taxi drivers and commuters.
15. To facilitate the matching of taxi hirers with potential relief drivers, LTA launched a new online matching portal in June 2013. The taxi matching portal has received good response with 4,944 logins, 1,861 posts and 48 successful matches as at 31 October 2013. In addition, to encourage taxi drivers to be active in their vocation, from January 2014, drivers will only need to pay half of the Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence (TDVL) renewal fees when they renew their licence, and undergo a shorter TDVL refresher course.
16. LTA will also work with the National Taxi Association and the taxi companies to introduce a mediation scheme in 2014 to mediate disputes between hirers and relief drivers, as well as between drivers and taxi companies. Details will be shared when ready.
1 For CBD roads with bus lanes, taxis are not allowed to pick up and drop off passengers (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 are 7.30am to 9.30am and 5pm to 8pm on Mondays to Fridays (excluding Public Holidays) for normal bus lanes, and 7.30am to 8pm on Mondays to Saturdays (excluding Public Holidays) for full day bus lanes.