Coronavirus: Singapore

More cash support for private-hire car and taxi drivers

Private-hire car and taxi drivers will receive cash support for three more months from July as the Government has set aside an additional $40 million to support them amid the low ridership during the current heightened alert period.

Drivers will receive $300 a month per vehicle from July over two months, and $150 a month per vehicle in the third month.

This is equivalent to $10 a day for the first 60 days, and $5 a day for the next 30 days.

The additional payout will benefit more than 50,000 drivers, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement yesterday.

Drivers already receiving the Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) payouts will get the extended payouts, while private-hire car drivers who joined the sector on or before May 31 will be notified by their respective operators of their eligibility, LTA said.

Singapore will gradually reopen from Monday, but some measures will likely continue to impact ridership.

"Even after we exit phase two of heightened alert for further reopening from June 21, work from home will continue to remain the default arrangement and there will be capacity limits at malls and restaurants," said LTA.

The agency added that it expects ridership to improve over the coming months due to the gradual reopening.

Taxi operators have also pledged to continue providing rental waivers of at least $12 million for the three-month extension of the CDRF.

The fund provides payouts of $750 per vehicle a month until the end of June as part of the $27 million set aside to support drivers from May 16 to end-June.

Both extensions come on top of the $188 million in assistance that the Government had initially committed to provide assistance to taxi and private-hire car drivers between January and June this year. This brings the total sum committed to the CDRF to $255 million.

LTA said the new support measures were devised after consultation with the National Taxi Association, the National Private Hire Vehicles Association as well as taxi and private-hire car operators.

  • 50,000

  • More than this number of drivers will benefit from the additional payout, the Land Transport Authority said yesterday.

Main hirers of taxis will continue to receive the payouts in the form of rental rebates, while private-hire car drivers will receive the payments through their e-wallets.

Drivers who do not qualify for the CDRF, including taxi relief drivers, may apply for the Ministry of Social and Family Development's Covid-19 Recovery Grant if they meet the eligibility criteria. The CDRF replaces the Special Relief Fund, which has been providing payouts to drivers affected by Covid-19 since February last year.

Drivers eligible for the CDRF include existing drivers who have qualified for the Special Relief Fund and drivers who have completed an average of 200 trips per month from Oct 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2021, with the headline 'More cash support for private-hire car and taxi drivers'. Subscribe