LTA to assess many factors in deciding if cabbies and private-hire drivers should take up courier jobs: Khaw Boon Wan

LTA said it will look at a whole range of factors in its review of whether taxi drivers should be allowed to be couriers or deliverymen if there are no passengers on board.
LTA said it will look at a whole range of factors in its review of whether taxi drivers should be allowed to be couriers or deliverymen if there are no passengers on board. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority (LTA), in its review of whether taxi drivers should be allowed to be couriers or deliverymen for goods if there are no passengers on board, will look at a whole range of factors, said Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan on Monday (Aug 7).

"It's a policy question and as a regulator, they have to look at what the full implications are, because many people will be affected. Traditional courier companies - many of their couriers are on motorbikes - their business will be affected, jobs will be affected," he said.

Mr Khaw also added: "Our job must always be to look at it from the customer's point of view."

The minister was speaking to reporters on Monday, when he visited Changi Airport Terminal 4 on the first day of a two-week open house.

He said that competition is inevitable.

"Competition, I think everybody has to face. Sometimes, there are winners (and) there are losers. But when industries get disrupted, the lines get blurred, then regulators have to keep pace with the changing industry structure," he said.

Discussions on whether cabbies should double as couriers surfaced recently when it came to light that some were doing work for delivery companies such as Amazon Prime.

Taxi drivers have defended their actions, saying it is to supplement their incomes and that they did the work only during lull periods.