Taxi association hopes cab firms will agree to new renting scheme that aims to boost service levels

The National Taxi Association (NTA) and e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) jointly organises its first Share-a-Taxi workshop with strong support from the Land Authority Transport and various taxi operators. The NTA hopes to get taxi fi
The National Taxi Association (NTA) and e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) jointly organises its first Share-a-Taxi workshop with strong support from the Land Authority Transport and various taxi operators. The NTA hopes to get taxi firms to agree to a new cab renting system that will assign two drivers to one vehicle. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

The National Taxi Association (NTA) hopes to get taxi firms to agree to a new cab renting system that will assign two drivers to one vehicle.

This means hirers need not look for their own relief drivers which can be a problem.

The proposed new arrangement will see the hirer and relief driver both enter an agreement with an operator.

The initiative is one of several that the NTA has embarked on in its bid to make it easier for taxi drivers to find relief drivers. Another is a workshop held Saturday morning at the Employment and Employability Institute at Jurong East to encourage drivers to co-share and educate new taxi license holders about the industry.

The "Share-a-Taxi" workshop brought together 50 taxi hirers, 80 new taxi vocational license holders and 60 people interested in the industry.

Staff from Comfort, SMRT, TransCab and Premier were also present to take questions from participants.

The NTA has been pushing to increase the number of taxis used by two drivers since the Land Transport Authority set taxi availability standards in 2012 to boost service levels.

Said NTA executive adviser Ang Hin Kee: "We want to help taxi drivers overcome challenges they face in their job. When two or three taxi drivers can co-share a taxi, they will be able to better manage time, their lifestyle and health.

The burden of addressing the rising costs and meeting the service indicators will also be lessened."

The share of two-shift taxis fell from 60 per cent in 2006 to 52 per cent in 2012. Last year, it climbed back up to nearly 60 per cent.

Cabbies have found it difficult to get suitable relief drivers. One reason is that they prefer to look for those who live nearby.

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