Dear A.S.S. Editor
The National Taxi Association (NTA), taxi drivers and private hire drivers,, and even some MPs are calling for the Government and LTA to review the regulation which made clear that taxis and private-hire cars cannot be used solely for the purpose of delivering goods.
Most of the taxi drivers say that this is an “archaic” rule, and it counters the Government trumpet-blowing of urging citizens to embrace disruptive technology and the gig economy. Drivers should not be denied a means to earn extra income, as already the market for the drivers are very tight and they can barely make a living just by picking up passengers. The NTA also urged the Government to conduct a trial allowing taxi drivers to deliver goods.
Members of Parliament (MPs) and drivers also called for the LTA to review the regulation, in order to maximise the use of existing vehicles to make deliveries. NTA’s executive adviser Ang Hin Kee said the association, together with taxi operators, would soon propose a “regulatory sandbox” to allow taxi drivers to make deliveries. The approach would provide room to experiment before any changes to existing regulations are made. The proposal is line with the Government’s push towards a “car-lite” society, said Mr Ang, who is also a Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio group representation constituency (GRC).
“If we don’t allow private-hire car or taxi drivers to do these deliveries, what it basically means is these deliveries have to be done by somebody else … instead of using the same driver (and) car to do multiple work,” he said. As there is already an “abundant” number of private-hire cars and taxis, the concern that there would be insufficient vehicles to meet commuter demand may no longer be such a “critical issue”, said Mr Ang.