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Separate COE category for private-hire cars 'possible': MOT 

The next phase of the P2P sector review will be later this year. 

The government is not ruling out the possibility of a separate Certificate of Entitlement (COE) category for private-hire cars (PHCs).

In a speech at the Parliament, Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor said the trade-offs associated with the change "need to be studied carefully."

Khor said the ministry will study the proposal and other concerns in the point-to-point (P2P) transport sector in its P2P review later this year.

Meanwhile, the government has also simultaneously introduced wide-ranging reforms to uplift the P2P transport sector, targeted to enhance accessibility, reliability, and inclusivity, addressing the varied needs of commuters.

Reliability measures were introduced, including baseline standards for operational disruptions and extended notification periods for P2P operators intending to exit the market.

Efforts to enhance inclusivity, focusing on the needs of wheelchair users and families with young children, are also underway.

“We intend to work with ride-hail operators to make their apps more senior-friendly, and explore providing pick-up points that both taxis and PHCs can use,” the senior transport minister said.

“We will look at whether operators with larger market share should be subject to higher regulatory standards to continue safeguarding the interests of commuters and drivers,” she added.

Moreover, the government has introduced reforms such as operational cost reductions for taxis and streamlined inspection regimes for both taxis and PHCs. 

Between 2020 and 2023, the use of traditional taxis for street-hail rides declined from 23% to 12%, and the overall number of taxis dropped from 15,800 to 13,600. 

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