The Singapore government has set aside an additional SGD112 million to provide further support for the Point-to-Point (P2P) transport sector.
This is an extension of the P2P Support Package (P2PSP) announced in February 2020.
Of the SGD112 million, SGD106 million will go towards a six-month extension of the Special Relief Fund (SRF) to March 2021. The SRF helps active taxi and PHC drivers defray business costs by providing monthly payouts of SGD300 per vehicle per month.
Drivers who are currently receiving SRF payouts will continue to receive SRF payouts during the extended period.
In a press statement, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) noted that many taxi and private hire car (PHC) drivers are understandably concerned about their livelihoods.
While the resumption of some activities in Phase Two has increased the demand for taxis and private hire cars, ridership remains significantly lower. Trips are also shorter, resulting in lower fares per trip, compared to pre-COVID levels.
"P2P ridership is unlikely to return to pre-COVID levels in the near term. Many employees are expected to continue with work-from-home arrangements, tourism activities remain muted and the current poor economic conditions means that more people will be tightening their belts and spending less," LTA added.
In addition, all new applicants for the Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL) must be Singapore Citizens who are at least 30 years old at the point of application, with a minimum of one year of driving experience.
Existing PDVL holders who are below 30 years old or are Singapore Permanent Residents will not be affected under this new rule.