SMRT Taxis to award 5,800 drivers with incentives worth $2.5m

Mr Lim Choon Seng, 67, receiving the SG50 goodie bag from Mr Ang Hin Kee (centre), the executive adviser of the National Taxi Association, and Mr Tony Heng, general manager of SMRT Taxis.
Mr Lim Choon Seng, 67, receiving the SG50 goodie bag from Mr Ang Hin Kee (centre), the executive adviser of the National Taxi Association, and Mr Tony Heng, general manager of SMRT Taxis.ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

A total of 5,800 drivers with SMRT Taxis will receive a slew of new incentives - worth about $2.5 million - in the year ahead, the company said yesterday.

These include top-ups for their Medisave accounts, fuel rebates and a $50 bonus for plying the roads on National Day weekend.

SMRT Taxis general manager Tony Heng said that the measures would help to reduce operating costs for taxi drivers and they were also a way to thank them for their hard work.

"While the rest of Singapore is celebrating (this weekend), our taxi partners will be working hard on the roads, so we want to appreciate them," he said at the SMRT Corporation Sports and Recreation Centre in Bishan, where 300 drivers received SG50 goodie bags from the company.

"More drivers are crossing the long-service mark so it's timely to reward them," he added.

The new benefits for drivers are:

  • Medisave top-up of $50 for hirers and $25 for relief drivers;
  • An incentive of $50 for driving 250km a day during the National Day weekend;
  • Road tax rebate of up to $510 for petrol taxis, to be paid out half-yearly from this month until July next year;
  • Additional long-service bonus of between $180 and $1,000 for drivers who have been with the company for more than six years, beyond the existing loyalty incentive scheme; and
  • Discounts at partner Esso petrol stations.

Mr Ang Hin Kee, executive adviser of the National Taxi Association and assistant secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress, was at yesterday's event to hand out goodie bags.

He said that the contribution towards Medisave accounts would go a long way towards helping the drivers, who are self-employed, to manage the premiums of MediShield Life after it commences on Nov 1.

Veteran taxi driver Jimmy Goh, 67, said he will be receiving $360 a year in loyalty bonuses as he has been driving an SMRT taxi for 17 years. The new benefits will help reduce some of the costs he faces as a taxi hirer, he said.

"We're facing competition from a lot of areas like third-party apps, private cars and other taxi companies," he added. "This can help reduce our operating cost and we can celebrate SG50 happily."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2015, with the headline 'SMRT Taxis to award 5,800 drivers with incentives worth $2.5m'. Print Edition | Subscribe