Taxi fare structure to be standardised, except for flag-down rates

Taxi fare structure to be standardised, except for flag-down rates

SINGAPORE - The way Singapore taxis charge their fares will be made simpler and less confusing for passengers.

Under the new rules, taxi charges, except for flag-down rates, will be made simpler with the standardisation of some parts of the fare structure from the second half of this year.

Taxi companies will be required to standardise their unit fares, surcharges, booking and additional passenger fees, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Public Transport Council (PTC) in a joint statement today. They must have only one set of metered rates for their standard cabs, and one set for premium ones.

All taxi companies must levy the same surcharges for peak periods, city areas, midnight and airport for all their vehicles.

The move is to "prevent taxi fares from becoming even more complex for commuters in the future", like what has happened today, said the statement. The new structure was created following feedback from commuters, taxi drivers and taxi companies.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo had said in Parliament recently that a standardised structure would enable commuters to compare rates across taxi companies more easily.

In the statement, PTC warned taxi companies not to revise rentals or make significant adjustments to fares in order to comply with the new requirements. 

Today, all standard taxis have the same unit fare of 22 cents, while most premium taxis charge 30 cents except for a few models of some taxi companies.

It added: "The PTC will require the unit distance travelled and unit waiting time to remain the same across all taxi companies and individually-owned taxis."

The unit fares will be based on every 400 metres travelled after the first kilometre to the 10 kilometre; every 350 metres travelled above 10 kilometres; and every 45 seconds of waiting time.

"Based on this, the PTC will require each taxi company to have only one set of unit fares for all its standard taxis; and one set of unit fares for all its premium taxis. To allow for competition, different taxi companies can charge different unit fares."

Taxi companies are already levying similar surcharges today, and the PTC will introduce regulations to ensure that they would not be changed.

Regulations

1) For time surcharges, the PTC will mandate that they must be based on the same percentage of metered fare and have the same applicable timings across all taxi companies.

2) The city area surcharge amount, applicable timing and geographical boundary must be the same across all taxi companies.

3) For other location-based surcharges, the PTC will mandate that where a location surcharge is levied at a location by one or more taxi companies, they must all levy the same surcharge amount for a given time period. Taxi companies can choose not to levy a location surcharge at that location. Not all taxi companies levy a location surcharge at Marina Bay Sands and Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal today.

Booking fees

The PTC will require the timings used for defining peak-period bookings and advance bookings to be the same across all taxi companies. Each taxi company will be required to have only one booking fee each for peak-period, off-peak and advance bookings for all its standard taxis; and likewise for all its premium taxis. The majority of taxi companies are already doing this today.

The extra passenger fee, if levied by a taxi company, should be the same for all its taxi models.

chenj@sph.com.sg

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