Driving a cab is not an "easier option": Union advisor

A cabby places a Singapore flag cover over his taxi's side mirror before the first-ever National Day Observance Ceremony on Thursday, Aug 1, 2013. Cabbies are expected to upgrade their skills, said the National Taxi Association advisor Ang Hin K
A cabby places a Singapore flag cover over his taxi's side mirror before the first-ever National Day Observance Ceremony on Thursday, Aug 1, 2013. Cabbies are expected to upgrade their skills, said the National Taxi Association advisor Ang Hin Kee at the ceremony. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

Just getting a licence and knowing Singapore roads are no longer good enough if you want to be a cabby in Singapore. Cabbies are expected to upgrade their skills, said the National Taxi Association advisor Ang Hin Kee at the first-ever National Day Observance Ceremony held by the taxi union on Thursday.

Mr Ang said driving a cab is not the "easier option", as drivers will need to meet commuters' increasing expectations and Government standards. Besides driving, cabbies will also have to do their sums, market themselves and identify their business clientele to "expand their business", added Mr Ang.

He said the NTA will also help the cabbies to to improve the taxi industry by working closely with the Land Transport Authority (LTA). He added however to reporters on the sidelines of the event that he has so far not heard from the LTA on NTA's 10 recommendations on how to improve the industry which included better matching service for seasoned and relief drivers.

Mr Ang, who is also an MP (Ang Mo Kio GRC), added that NTA also aims to improve the health and well-being of cabbies by conducting smoking cessation workshops and sport programmes to help them keep fit. Labour chief Lim Swee Say who was the guest-of-honour at Thursday's ceremony at the Kallang LeisurePark gave out the first of 20,000 flags to cabbies to mark National Day.