Coronavirus Singapore

2-passenger limit for taxis, private-hire cars to be lifted

The two-passenger limit for taxis and private-hire cars will be lifted on Monday, in line with Singapore's updated restrictions on permissible group sizes, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday.

Commercial carpooling services can also resume, the LTA added in its statement.

All drivers and passengers must still wear masks at all times, said the LTA. "Taxi and PHC (private-hire car) drivers should decline to ferry passengers who do not wear masks."

Paid carpooling services that are matched through licensed ride-hail platforms, such as GrabHitch and RydePool, may resume from Monday. However, paid carpooling trips which are arranged through informal platforms such as Telegram groups remain illegal.

Carpooling trips which do not involve payment, such as those between families, friends or colleagues, are permitted, subject to the prevailing permissible group size of five people, said the LTA.

The announcement comes a day after the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19 said that restrictions on social gatherings will be relaxed in a two-step process from Monday.

Among other things, people will once again be allowed to gather in groups of up to five, although dining at eateries will be allowed only from June 21.

The changes are a result of the falling number of new Covid-19 cases reported daily since tightened measures were put in place on May 16.

Commercial carpooling services had stopped during the period of heightened alert from May 16 to June 13. Taxis and private-hire cars were also not allowed to take more than two passengers during this period unless they were members of the same household.

The LTA said yesterday that cabbies, private-hire car drivers and passengers are strongly encouraged to bring their TraceTogether token or keep their TraceTogether app on in their smartphone to facilitate contact tracing efforts.

"Early detection of close contacts with confirmed Covid-19 cases will help to protect drivers, passengers and their loved ones, and prevent further spread in the community," the LTA added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2021, with the headline '2-passenger limit for taxis, private-hire cars to be lifted'. Subscribe