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Singapore's LTA to compute taxi availability based on hired-out fleet

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 10:43
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Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) will compute taxi availability (TA) based on taxi companies' respective hired-out fleet, instead of their registered fleet.

SINGAPORE'S Land Transport Authority (LTA) will compute taxi availability (TA) based on taxi companies' respective hired-out fleet, instead of their registered fleet.

This adjustment will be applied retrospectively from Jan 1, 2015. The TA standards remain unchanged.

Explaining the new approach, the LTA said: "At any one time, a small percentage of each taxi company's fleet may be unhired, some of which are being maintained, used as spares or pending rental to drivers. The percentage of unhired taxis across the industry in April 2015 was 3.9 per cent."

The new computation, which takes into account feedback from the National Taxi Association and taxi companies, removes the variation arising from the unhired taxi fleet and measures the efficiency of hired taxis more accurately.

In the 10 years before the TA standards were introduced, the industry-level unhired rate fluctuated from as little as one per cent to as high as 7.1 per cent.

"Importantly, taxi drivers would not have to increase their mileage to make up for the non-performance of the unhired taxis. LTA will therefore compute TA on the basis of the hired out fleet henceforth," the LTA said.

Since the introduction of the TA standards on Jan 1, 2013, the percentage of hired-out taxis on the roads during peak periods has increased from 82.4 per cent in 2012 to 90 per cent in the first four months of 2015. This translates to over 2,000 more taxis being available to commuters during these hours.

Based on their hired-out fleets, Comfort, CityCab and SMRT have consistently met the required standards in terms of percentage of taxis on the roads during peak periods in the first four months of 2015. Trans-Cab met the standards in February, March and April 2015, while Premier met the standards in January, February and March 2015. Prime did not meet the standards in the first four months of 2015.

The LTA said it has served notices of penalties to SMRT for the months of January and February, and to Prime for the months of January, February and March 2015 for not meeting the standards in terms of percentage of taxis with minimum daily mileage of 250km.

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