SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Tuesday (July 31) that it has granted a full-fledged taxi service operator licence to HDT Singapore Taxi (HDTT).
This is after a two-year trial under the Transport Innovation and Development Scheme which involved 100 electric taxis.
HDTT's business proposal, company organisational structure, past performance records and financial capabilities have demonstrated the company's business viability and ability to operate a full-fledged taxi service, LTA said in a statement.
HDTT will be required to convert its existing fleet of e-taxis and register them as regular taxis by Aug 31, and will gradually increase its fleet size to at least 800 e-taxis in Singapore within four years.
With a fleet size of 100, HDTT is currently the smallest taxi company in Singapore. Its flag-down rate is $3.90.
Unlike other operators which rent out their taxis at a daily rate, HDTT employs its cabbies and pays them salaries, with perks such as annual leave.
Drivers get a starting monthly pay of $1,900, inclusive of Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions. If they hit a revenue target of $7,250, the gross salary with CPF is over $3,400.
According to LTA statistics, the total taxi fleet as of June 2018 is 21,164. Market leader ComfortDelGro's fleet numbers 13,244.
As part of its operations, HDTT will need to ensure that sufficient charging stations are set up island-wide to support its fleet.
HDTT will also have to comply with taxi availability and quality of service standards. With the entry of HDTT, there will be seven taxi operators in Singapore, including Comfort, CityCab, SMRT Taxis, Trans-Cab, Premier Taxis, and Prime Taxi.
National Taxi Association executive adviser Ang Hin Kee said HDTT provides an option for drivers who prefer to be employees of a company, rather than to be just hirers.
"As an electric fleet, HDTT also offers consumers a cleaner choice than diesel," said Mr Ang.