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LTA cracks down on illegal rental car 'taxis'

Drivers with rental cars using phone apps to get bookings, flouting the law

Published on Apr 28, 2014 8:23 AM
 
Phone apps like GrabTaxi are helping cabbies like Mr Wong Hao Min find passengers and boost their earnings. However, drivers of rental cars are also making use of such apps to grab passengers illegally. Those caught breaking the law may be fined up to $3,000 or jailed for up to six months. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

As phone apps for booking a taxi or a limo get more popular, drivers with rental cars are also jumping in to grab these calls, according to car rental industry sources.

These drivers are breaking the law; and this has prompted the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to act.

LTA officials met car rental companies and taxi operators last week to remind them of the rules, the second time it has done so in less than a year.

Other than taxis, only company-owned vehicles insured as limousines and driven by its employees are allowed under the law to ferry passengers for a fee.

 
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Background story

CONSUMER MUST BE PROTECTED

These new services will help ease peak-hour demand for taxis. But the consumer has to be well protected... the cars used have to be properly insured, and the drivers have to be staff of the company.

- Prime Taxi managing director Neo Nam Heng

STAYING AHEAD OF COMPETITION

We are used to changing environments. We will continue to invest and innovate to stay ahead of the competition.

- ComfortDelGro Corp, the largest taxi company with 16,000 cabs

 

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