SINGAPORE - Taxi giant ComfortDelGro will extend its full rental waiver to its cabbies by another month following news that safe distancing measures will be tightened and extended till June 1.
In a statement on Wednesday (April 22), the listed home-grown company with the largest fleet of cabs - about 10,800 taxis or 59 per cent of the total - said it expects the latest waiver extension to cost $17 million.
ComfortDelGro said its total relief package to its hirers will amount to as much as $116 million, which it expects would pull its once lucrative taxi business into the red for the first time this year.
ComfortDelGro Taxi chief executive Ang Wei Neng said: "With the circuit breaker period being extended by another month and further tightening of the existing circuit breaker measures, our cabbies will continue to be hard hit and find it difficult to make ends meet.
"We have therefore decided to waive the taxi rental in full till the end of the extended circuit breaker period. Times like these, we have to band together and face the challenges together."
Other taxi firms are likely to follow suit, as they had when ComfortDelGro announced its first rental waiver earlier this month.
Besides helping to ease the rental load, ComfortDelGro has also been working with delivery companies and restaurateurs to provide alternative jobs to cabbies.
To date, more than 680 cabbies have been deployed to take on such jobs, with close to 110 of them deployed to provide delivery services for firms such as Foodpanda, fast food restaurants such as KFC and Pizza Hut, and bakery chain Cedele.