Taxi drivers can rent cabs from SMRT by the hour under new sharing scheme

SMRT Taxis launched Singapore's first taxi sharing scheme, called SMRT Taxi Share on Jan 26, 2017.
SMRT Taxis launched Singapore's first taxi sharing scheme, called SMRT Taxi Share on Jan 26, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

SINGAPORE - SMRT unveiled a new taxi sharing scheme on Thursday (Jan 26), which will allow cabbies to rent taxis on an hourly basis.

This departs from the usual industry practice, in which cab operators rent out taxis to hirers at a daily rate.

SMRT said the Taxi Share scheme, which will kick off on Feb 1, will boost the firm's competitiveness, by offering taxi drivers more flexibility, in terms of when and how many hours they drive.

Mr Tony Heng, managing director for SMRT Taxis and Private Hire Services, said: "The scheme allows us to tap on a large number of inactive Taxi Driver Vocational Licence (TDVL) holders and have taxis ply the road according to commuter demand."

Mr Heng added that there are about 100,000 TDVL holders but about 50 per cent of them are inactive.

The rates under the new taxi sharing scheme will range between $5.80 and $12.80 an hour, and cabbies on the scheme have to rent the cars for a minimum of three hours.

SMRT currently has about 5 per cent, or 175 cabs, out of its total fleet of 3,500 cabs which are not hired out.

It plans to use these taxis for the Taxi Share scheme first, but may scale up the numbers depending on demand.