Parliament: Half of all taxi fares recovered in evasion cases

People queuing for taxis at the taxi stand outside Parklane Shopping Mall.
People queuing for taxis at the taxi stand outside Parklane Shopping Mall. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority is able to recover fares for about half of all taxi fare evasion cases, Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan told Parliament on Monday (Nov 7).

These include incidents where the fare evader is not identified, which make up about 65 per cent of the 150 fare evasion cases each month.

Mr Khaw added that to further deter fare evasion, higher penalties were introduced in May (2016). These include a fine of $1,000 for first-time offenders, and a $2,000 fine and six months' jail for subsequent offences.

He was responding to questions from Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Randolph Tan. Prof Tan also asked whether the Public Transport Council or the LTA could help affected taxi drivers directly.

Mr Khaw said taxi drivers should report cases of fare evasion to the police. He added that the primary duty of helping taxi drivers falls on taxi operators, who could provide advice to drivers on how to handle fare evasion cases.

He suggested that taxi operators could look to private-hire car services Uber and Grab to see how they handle fare evasions.

NMP Chia Yong Yong also asked whether in-vehicle cameras could be installed in cabs to deter fare cheats.

Mr Khaw said taxi operators could consider installing such cameras in their fleets, but these would only have a limited success rate without more information about the offenders. In cases where the fare evader is identified, there is an 85 per cent rate of success in recovering fares, he said.