We refer to Mr Goh Siang Leng’s letter, ‘Cabbies suffer under new rules’ (MyPaper, 6 May 2013).
The purpose of the taxi availability standards is to increase taxi fleet utilisation so that taxi commuters see discernible improvements, especially during peak periods. These standards are set based on the taxi fleet and not per taxi driver. To give taxi companies sufficient time to adjust to the standards, LTA has taken a graduated approach by setting standards at a reasonable level for the whole industry and at the same time ensuring improvements for commuters.
There will be no financial penalties imposed on the taxi companies for the first 6 months. We have told taxi companies to work with their drivers on ways to meet the taxi availability standards. We understand that some companies already have good practices that encourage better utilisation of their taxis and we urge all companies to do the same.
Drivers could also consider sharing their taxis with relief drivers. To facilitate matching, LTA will set up an online portal by end June this year so that hirers and relief drivers can exchange information.
We thank Mr Goh for the opportunity to clarify.
Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations and Public Education
Land Transport Authority