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TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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LTA simplifies taxi availability framework for cabbies to keep up with Grab, Uber

Starting next year, more taxis will be made available during peak hours.

It would seem like the Land Transportation Authority of Singapore is seeing the needs of the taxi drivers in the midst of the popularity surrounding ride-hailing apps like Grab and Uber. The board just announced that it will be simplifying the taxi availability framework by removing the “Percentage of Taxis with Minimum Daily Mileage of 250km” requirement, and the shoulder peak periods requirement in the “Percentage of Taxis on the Roads during Peak Periods” indicator.

This means that taxis will no longer be required to clock a minimum daily mileage of 250km and taxi operators will no longer have to meet availability requirements between 6am to 7am and 11pm to 12am, or the shoulder peak periods.

LTA stressed that this would be the answer to the fast-changing technology, which greatly enhanced the point-to-point mobility landscape in Singapore.

"Today, third-party taxi booking applications and taxi companies’ own enhanced in-house booking applications have enabled better matching between commuters and taxis, and there are also more options available for commuters such as private hire car services provided by the likes of Uber and Grab," the transport authority explained, saying the simplication of framework would give taxi firms more flexibility to adapt to the evolving market.

Since the introduction of the TA framework in 2013, the percentage of taxis on the roads during peak hours has increased from 82% in 2012 to 93% in the first nine months of 2016. This translates to about 2,000 more taxis being made available to commuters during these hours.

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