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     FrontPage Edition: Sat 1 March 2008

New CBD rules for taxis from 1 March 2008


From 1 March 2008 Taxis Within The Central Business District (CBD) Can Only Stop At Taxi Stands And Building Driveways
From 1 March 2008, taxi drivers can no longer stop to pick up or drop off passengers along all public roads within the CBD between 7 am and 10 pm from Monday to Saturday, other than a public holiday. They should instead do so at taxi stops, taxi stands and driveways of buildings in the CBD.
This measure, which was announced by LTA in November 2007, will help improve the safety of commuters, taxi drivers and other road users as it will reduce the number of taxis driving into bus lanes to pick up passengers or indiscriminately stopping along the roads and disrupting the flow of traffic. This way, public buses which carry more passengers will enjoy a smoother and faster journey.
Taxis picking up and dropping off passengers at taxi stands will increase the availability of taxis there and ensure a fairer allocation of taxis than street hail by preventing passengers waiting for taxis along the road to jump queue by going up-traffic.
To make taxi facilities more accessible to commuters, LTA has increased the number of taxi stands within the CBD by more than 30%, from 80 to 105. This means that there is now a taxi stand or taxi stop within 300 metres or less than a 5-minute walk from any building within the CBD. Please refer to Annex A for a list of the 10 additional taxi stands installed in February 2008.
LTA has also increased the waiting capacity at these taxi stands by about 3 times so that more taxis can wait for passengers at the taxi stands. To make the taxi stands and taxi stops easily identifiable, all the taxi signs in the CBD have been replaced by distinctive by distinctive taxi signs.
In addition, the taxi stands will be numbered for easy identification by both commuters and taxi drivers. These signs include LTA's advisory against touting and overcharging. Please refer to Annex B for a picture of the taxi sign.
Taxi drivers who breach the rules can be fined $100 and given 3 demerit points under the Vocational Licence Points System (VLPS).
Mr Yang Ban Seng, CEO of ComfortDelGro's Taxi Business, said, "The move to mandate that taxi passengers can only be picked up or alighted at taxi stands, taxi stops and building driveways in the CBD is a good one and we are supportive of it. In fact, we have been working with LTA and our Taxi Association to address implementation issues of concern to our taxi drivers, such as providing more taxi stands and taxi waiting lots in the CBD, and educating the public to minimise misunderstandings between taxi drivers and passengers who may be unaware of the new ruling. We hope that commuters will appreciate that our taxi drivers cannot now just stop anywhere along the roads on their request, and seek their understanding, especially on rainy days".
Mr Foo Chi Yong, Chairman of Premier Taxi Operators' Association, said, "We are fully supportive of LTA's measures to improve taxi services. This measure will enhance the safety of commuters and taxi drivers, and at the same time make it easier for taxi commuters to get a taxi from a taxi stand. We will encourage our taxi drivers to pick up passengers from taxi stands. We would also like to urge commuters to cooperate with our taxi drivers".
LTA officers will be deployed on the ground during the first month to remind taxi drivers not to stop along public roads in the CBD. These officers will also help to educate commuters on the new rule.
Annex A and B

Source: News Release 28 Feb 2008

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Public Holidays GOOD FRIDAY is the next public holiday. It falls on 21 March 2008.