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     FrontPage Edition: Mon 17 March 2008

LTA fine tunes taxi CBD rule to exempt side roads


LTA Fine Tunes Taxi CBD Rule To Exempt Side Roads
With effect from Monday, 17 March 2008, taxis will be allowed to pick up and drop off passengers from side roads in the CBD where buses do not ply.
The CBD rule for taxis will continue to apply on roads that have public buses plying. On these roads, taxis can only pick up or drop off passengers at taxi stands or on driveways of buildings between 7am to 10pm from Mondays to Saturdays, except on Sundays and public holidays.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has continued to work closely with the Taxi Operators' Associations and taxi companies to monitor the implementation of the CBD rule for taxi which came into effect on 1 March 2008. The LTA has also taken in public feedback and has decided to make adjustments to minimise inconvenience to passengers, businesses and taxi drivers.
"The principal consideration for this rule is safety. This remains our key priority. We, together with the Taxi Operators' Associations and taxi companies, have considered very carefully the feedback from passengers, businesses and taxi drivers, and LTA has decided to allow taxis to pick up and drop off passengers from side roads. Our risk assessment is that roads with the highest risks are the roads where public buses ply. This adjustment balances safety concerns with the need to minimise inconvenience to commuters," said Mr Yam Ah Mee, Chief Executive, Land Transport Authority.
Mr Seng Han Thong, Co-Chairman for the Working Group and Advisor to the Taxi Operators' Association (TOA), said, "We have been very concerned about the issues arising out of the implementation of the new ruling and have provided feedback to LTA. Through this joint effort, we hope to resolve to a great extent problems that affected the drivers. Moving forward, I am confident that we shall work closely to face the new challenges of the taxi industry."
Added Mr Foo Chi Yong, President of Premier Taxi Operators' Association, "I am relieved to note that the authorities have exercised flexibility in enforcing the new policy during the initial period. We hope to receive the support and understanding from the public so that they can help us as drivers to adjust to the new ruling."
"We are heartened by LTA's receptiveness to industry feedback. The proposed tweaks to the system will help ease the problems that our drivers have experienced on the ground. We will continue to work closely with the LTA and our associations to monitor the situation on the ground," said Mr Yang Ban Seng, CEO of ComfortDelgro's Taxi Business.
Welcoming the revision, Ms Jasmine Tan, General Manager, Trans-Cab Services Pte Ltd, added: "Since the implementation of the CBD taxi rule on 1 Mar 2008, LTA has continued to take in the feedback of commuters and taxi drivers. The revisions would certainly benefit drivers and commuters."
Mr Lee Wai Mun, Chief Executive Officer of the Automobile Association of Singapore said, "The CBD rule for taxis, in placing safety high on the list of priorities, is the correct approach to take. AAS is happy that the adjustments, while making it more convenient for taxi commuters, retain the need to make our roads safe for the motorists."
The LTA will continue to install more taxi stands and taxi lots on roads in the CBD to increase convenience. We will also make the taxi stand signs more prominent and install new directional signs to direct passengers to the nearest taxi stands.
Maps showing the location of taxi stands in the CBD area will be distributed to hotels and commercial buildings to make it easier for commuters to locate the nearest taxi stand. These maps will also be included in the public transport information guide for tourists.
Mr Nah Tua Bah, President of Comfort Taxi Operators' Association, said, "As taxi drivers, we are happy that the authorities have listened to and considered our feedback and concerns. We would give our support and hope to see all the recommendations implemented soon for the convenience of our commuters."
"We believe these changes will still meet our objective to ensure safety and improve convenience for passengers and motorists. As with all changes, it will require some time for adjustment and we seek the understanding of all commuters, businesses, and taxi drivers," said Mr Yam.

Source: News Release 17 Mar 2008

Related Article:
- New CBD rules for taxis from 1 March 2008

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