a. Maintain an open and contestable market by prohibiting driver exclusivity conditions;
b. Provide sufficient regulatory oversight to protect the safety and interests of commuters and drivers; and
c. Where appropriate, to streamline regulations to reduce business and regulatory costs.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is seeking feedback from the public on the proposed regulatory framework for the point-to-point (P2P) sector.
2. The Point-to-Point (P2P) transport sector in Singapore has evolved significantly in the last few years with the entry of Private Hire Car (PHC) booking service operators (BSOs) and Third-Party Taxi Booking (TPB) service operators. The P2P sector has two distinct types of services which are distinguished by the way drivers are matched to commuters. The first is street-hail, where commuters flag down an available taxi from the street. The second is ride-hail, where commuters can 'book' a taxi or PHC through smartphone apps, call booking hotlines, or even through online platforms. Today, commuters have more P2P transport options, while drivers also have more choices on the operators they can drive for.
3. Given the changes in the P2P transport sector, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is reviewing the regulatory framework for the P2P transport sector to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of Singaporeans and our broader transport objectives, while taking into account industry developments.
Proposed Regulatory Changes for Consultation
4. The proposed P2P regulatory framework has three objectives:
Maintaining and open and contestable P2P sector
5. To maintain an open and contestable P2P sector, LTA intends to prohibit driver exclusivity arrangements for all parties in the market. Under the proposed regime, operators will no longer be allowed to prevent drivers from driving for other operators, and drivers are free to choose which operators they drive for. However, LTA will make an exception for drivers who are employed by operators as employees, as employment provides greater job protection for drivers. Prohibiting driver exclusivity arrangements will allow new operators to enter the market more easily and encourage greater competition to benefit commuters.
Ensuring sufficient regulatory oversight through a new P2P licensing framework
6. As street-hail and ride-hail operators provide the same fundamental service of transporting commuters from point to point, LTA proposes to licence all P2P operators to protect commuters and drivers. However, the licensing requirements for street-hail and ride-hail operators will be different, due to the different ways in which the service is provided. This is unlike today’s regulatory framework, where one set of regulations applies to taxi operators that provide both street-hail and ride-hail services, and there are no uniform regulations that apply to operators that purely provide ride-hail services.
A safe P2P sector for commuters with diverse needs
7. Under the new operator licensing framework, LTA intends to introduce requirements that ensure that operators play a part to keep commuters safe regardless of whether they provide street-hail or ride-hail services. For example, LTA is proposing that operators must ensure that drivers and vehicles are adequately licensed and insured, and drivers drive safely. LTA is also seeking feedback on how the P2P sector can provide safe and convenient transport options to cater to the transport needs of all Singaporeans.
Invitation to Provide Feedback
8. More details of the proposals are available in the Annex. We welcome your views and request that you respond to the specific questions listed in the paper. You may submit your feedback through the form below, electronically via email@example.com, or mail hardcopy to the following address:
Point-to-point Transport Services & Vocational Licence Division
Land Transport Authority of Singapore
10 Sin Ming Drive
9. Your feedback is important to us. All views and comments received will be considered. We will consolidate and provide a summary of the key comments received at the close of the consultation exercise. The closing date for submissions is 21 Feb 2019.