Financial penalties will not be imposed for another six months
1. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will not impose financial penalties on taxi companies that do not meet the taxi availability (TA) standards for a further six months from July 2013 to December 2013. This will allow the taxi companies more time to adjust to the new standards. Please refer to Annex A for TA standards.
2. Since the implementation of the TA standards on 1 January 2013, LTA has worked closely with the taxi companies to better understand their concerns and constraints, as well as their plans to improve their TA performance. While some taxi companies are able to meet the TA standards, others have given feedback that they need more time to adjust their operations and encourage their drivers to better utilise their taxis.
3. We considered the feedback from the taxi companies as well as the National Taxi Association which represents taxi drivers, and, in view of the consistent efforts made by the taxi companies to meet the TA standards, we decided to give them more time to adjust.
Taxi companies showing efforts to meet TA standards
Percentage of taxis on the road during peak periods
4. In the first four months of 2013, Comfort, CityCab and SMRT consistently met the standards, with at least 65% of their taxi fleet on the road during the shoulder peak periods of 6am-7am and 11pm-12 midnight, and 70% from 7am-11am and 5pm-11pm. Premier and TransCab met the standards during the peak periods, but did not do so during the shoulder peak periods. Smart and Prime did not meet the standards.
Percentage of taxis with minimum daily mileage of 250km
5. Comfort, CityCab and Premier consistently met the minimum 70% daily mileage of 250km for its fleet from January to April this year. SMRT met the standard in March and April 2013 while TransCab met the requirement only in April. Smart and Prime did not meet the standard. Please refer to Annex B for details.
Measures to complement taxi availability
6. To facilitate hirers in finding relief drivers and vice versa, LTA launched a new online matching portal today. Taxi hirers and relief drivers can visit www.onemotoring.com.sg/taxi_matching/ to look for suitable partners so that the taxis can be better utilised at all times. Taxis driven in two shifts will also reduce the financial and operational burden of up-keeping a taxi solely by one driver. Besides facilitating matches between taxi hirers and relief drivers, the portal will also be used to disseminate information relevant to Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence (TDVL) holders. Please refer to Annex C for a screenshot of the portal.
7. In addition, from January 2014, active drivers will only need to pay half of their TDVL renewal fees and to undergo a shorter TDVL refresher course.
8. As part of our efforts to complement the TA framework, we relaxed the Central Business District (CBD) taxi rule in January 2013 to make it easier for taxi drivers to pick up and drop off passengers inside the CBD. Taxis are now allowed to pick up and drop off passengers along all roads within the CBD, except within bus lanes during their operation hours1, and specific roads that are dangerous for all vehicles to stop at any time such as Finlayson Green, High Street, Orchard Link and Esplanade Drive.
 For CBD roads with bus lanes, taxis are not 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 are Mon to Fri (7.30am to 9.30am and 5pm to 8pm, excluding Public Holidays) for normal bus lanes, and Mon to Sat (7.30am to 8pm, excluding Public Holidays) for full day bus lanes.