Open up use of taxi stands to private-hire cars

Over the past few months, there have been several appeals to change the rules on the exclusive use of taxi stands.

Until now, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has not come up with a safe alternative for private-hire cars.

The Road Traffic Act (Chapter 276) clearly identifies taxis and private-hire cars as both public service vehicles.

Both these drivers undergo courses conducted by the Singapore Taxi Academy and are qualified vocational licence drivers.

They have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to transport passengers safely from point A to point B.

However, with the rule that discourages private-hire cars from using taxi stands, it has become difficult and dangerous for private-hire cars to pick up or drop off passengers safely.

Some malls, like Bugis Junction, employ staff to take photos of motorists entering the taxi lane.

Very often, private-hire car drivers are left with no choice but to pick up and drop off passengers in areas adjacent to taxi stands and, in some cases, along main roads.

This poses a very high accident risk to the passengers, especially passengers who are visually impaired.

In the interest of public safety, an immediate and cost-effective solution is to re-label these taxi stands as both taxi and private-hire car drop-off points.

Let us not wait for nasty accidents to happen before taking action because, by then, it will be too late.

Chew Guan Sun