1,500 cabbies now able to handle digital payments, apps to improve productivity after undergoing training

Labour chief Ng Chee Meng attended a portion of the digital training course on Sept 19, 2019.
Labour chief Ng Chee Meng attended a portion of the digital training course on Sept 19, 2019.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - About 1,500 taxi drivers from ComfortDelGro have been trained in digital skills, as part of nationwide efforts to help workers hop on Singapore's digital transformation journey.

These drivers are now capable of using various apps to improve productivity and also to accept digital payments from passengers, the taxi operator said on Thursday (Sept 19).

They are the first batches of drivers to have completed a customised SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace one-day training programme, which started about three months ago.

A total of 10,000 drivers out of ComfortDelGro's 25,000 cabbies will be trained by the end of next year.

At an event to give an update on the number of drivers in the programme at the company's office in Sin Ming Avenue, ComfortDelGro Taxi chief executive officer Ang Wei Neng said it will look into expanding the programme to the remaining drivers after the 10,000 drivers have been trained.

He said that of those who have attended the programme so far, about two-thirds are in their 60s.

Participants are invited to the programme and encouraged to sign up for it.

"Despite their age, they have not stopped learning, and have found the course useful," he added.

"They now know better how apps such as the CDG Driver App can help them know the hot spots with high demand for taxis, be kept up to date on traffic conditions and eventually get more booking jobs."

Drivers also learnt to use apps such as Parking.sg, which allows them to digitally pay for parking charges, and Cabs @ Changi, which provides drivers with real-time flight arrival and taxi queue information at Changi Airport.

 
 
 
 

Taxi driver Tan Kim Buck, 69, who attended the course two months ago, said the apps he learnt to use through the course have helped him increase his earnings by about 15 to 20 per cent.

"There is time saved, and this time saved can be converted into extra trips," he said.

Moving forward, taxi drivers who are also union leaders can volunteer to help facilitate the classes.

These drivers will be sent for further training, and will commit to co-facilitating one class weekly afterwards.

Fifteen drivers have volunteered so far.

Labour chief Ng Chee Meng, who attended a portion of the digital training course on Thursday, said it creates a win-win situation, where firms, drivers and commuters all benefit.

He also urged the drivers and workers in all other industries to take the initiative and help in Singapore's industry transformation efforts.

"While industries are going to Industry 4.0 standards, workers will also have the responsibility to step forward," he said, in reference to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

"Take action, act upon your beliefs, communicate with each other so that you can share what (you) are doing, what the best methods are."

Correction note: This article has been edited for clarity.