Higher licence fee for taxi firms bad news for cabbies

The recent announcement by the Land Transport Authority on the increase in the operating licence fee for taxi operators is another sign of the deeply uneven playing field in the transport industry ("Cab firms hit by higher operating licence fees"; last Friday).

Already, private-hire car operators have lower entry barriers, as they do not have to comply with taxi availability requirements or send their vehicles for more servicing and inspections.

And now, we learn that they do not have to pay an operating licence fee.

The increase in the operating licence fee for taxi operators will probably result in an increase in taxi rental fees.

Many cabbies in their 50s are feeling the pinch, and soon, more will be turning in their taxis, as it becomes untenable to do the job.

The Government has always advocated that seniors remain active and/or stay in employment.

What will happen to these older cabbies now?

John Leong Yew Cheong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2016, with the headline 'Higher licence fee for taxi firms bad news for cabbies'. Print Edition | Subscribe