Taxis and private hire cars, which make up the point-to-point passenger transport (P2P) sector, are an important part of our vision for a well-connected land transport network. With the passing of the Point-to-Point Passenger Transport Industry Act in August 2019, P2P operators will be licensed based on the services they provide, i.e. street-hail, ride-hail or car-pool services. The new regulatory framework will apply to larger P2P service operators who have 800 or more vehicles on their platforms.
2 To kick start the new P2P regulatory framework, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will open applications for two licences under the new regulatory regime on 29 May 2020 - Ride-hail Service Operator Licence (RSOL) and the Car-Pool Service Operator Licence (CSOL). More information on the licence application process is available on LTA’s website. Existing taxi operators will be automatically transitioned to the new Street-hail Service Operator Licence (SSOL) under the new regulatory framework. LTA will follow up with existing taxi operators directly on details of this transition.
3 LTA had earlier announced that the implementation of the new regulatory framework will be delayed by three months from June 2020 to September 2020, to allow operators to focus their efforts on dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. In response to operators’ requests for more time to prepare their applications, LTA will push back the implementation of the new regulatory framework by one more month to October 2020.
4 Licence applications for the RSOL and CSOL will close on 13 July 2020 and results will be announced by October 2020. The RSOL and CSOL will be valid for three years, whereas the SSOL will be valid for 10 years.
Removal of Taxi Availability Standards
5 LTA had previously announced that the Taxi Availability (TA) standards, which require taxi operators to maintain at least 80% of their taxis on the road during peak hours, will be removed when the new P2P regulatory framework is implemented. The COVID-19 situation and Circuit Breaker measures have reduced taxi demand. LTA assesses that with ride-hail vehicles gaining a wider market share, the demand for street-hail taxis is unlikely to return to pre-COVID levels immediately even after the Circuit Breaker measures are lifted. Hence, LTA will remove the TA standards from June 2020. However, LTA will continue to require taxi operators to fulfil safety Quality of Service standards relating to accident rate, offence rate, and vehicle first inspection passing rate. To help taxi operators meet the TA standards which was implemented in 2013, LTA has been granting discounts for renewals of Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licence (TDVL). In light of the challenging economic conditions, LTA will continue to offer the TDVL renewal discount until the end of 2020.