With the start of Singapore’s Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) period on 16 May our preliminary data shows that taxi and private hire car (PHC) ridership has declined significantly. This is due to tighter safe management measures, which include a reduction in permissible group size, working-from-home being the default and a suspension of activities such as dining out. In addition, all primary, secondary, junior college and Millenia Institute students, including students from Special Education schools have shifted to full Home-based Learning from 19 May 2021 till 28 May 2021.
COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) top-up
2. We have consulted our tripartite partners, including the National Taxi Association (NTA), the National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA), as well as the taxi and private hire car (PHC) operators. We recognise that taxi and PHC drivers need urgent targeted assistance to tide through this period so that they can continue providing sustainable taxi and PHC services for Singapore commuters. The Government will set aside an additional $27 million to provide an additional $10 per vehicle per day top-up through the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) from 16 May 2021 to end June 2021. This is in addition to the $188 million which the Government had already committed for CDRF payments from January to June 2021. In total, drivers will receive $25 per vehicle per day, up from the existing $15 per vehicle per day. This works out to be $750 per vehicle per month until the end of June. LTA will work with the operators to implement the enhanced CDRF by end May.
3 . All taxi and PHC drivers who are eligible for the CDRF will automatically receive the top-up through their operators. There is no need for drivers to make an application. ComfortDelgro had earlier announced a 50% rental waiver for its drivers and other taxi operators have also committed to provide additional rental discounts of at least $5/day above their current commitment of $10/day to their drivers. In total, taxi operators have pledged around $28 million in additional taxi rental discount. Grab is providing rebates to eligible drivers and rental waivers for qualifying Grab rental drivers. GoJek has also reduced commissions for its drivers. Operators will be releasing details of their assistance to their drivers.
4. Taking into account that ridership is likely to take time to recover after the end of Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), the Government is also looking into a further extension to the CDRF beyond the current tranche ending in end June 2021. More details will be released in due course.
Support for taxi and PHC drivers on Quarantine Orders
5. Drivers have also expressed concerns about the potential loss of income should they be served a Quarantine Order (QO) after coming into close contact with individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 infection. In this regard, drivers can continue to tap on schemes such as the Quarantine Order Allowance Scheme administered by the Ministry of Health and other relief schemes provided by their taxi and PHC operators. Drivers who are NTA and NPHVA members can also receive a one-off $200 assistance provided by the associations, if they have been served a QO.
6. We would like to thank our tripartite partners for working closely with LTA in supporting taxi and PHC drivers, so that they are able to continue to provide point-to-point services for our community.