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Higher fares for private-hire cars, taxis due to demand surge not met by shrunken pool of drivers: Iswaran

A screen on a mobile phone showing ride-hailing services and charges for taxis and private-hire cars.

A screen on a mobile phone showing ride-hailing services and charges for taxis and private-hire cars.

A fall in the number of taxi and private-hire car drivers, along with a steep pick-up in demand for such transport, have caused fares to surge for these services recently.

Transport Minister S Iswaran said on Monday (Aug 1) that since January 2020, the number of active taxi and private-hire car drivers has dropped by 18 per cent to about 57,000 drivers as of June this year. 

The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting semi-lockdown and work-from-home arrangements had lowered demand for point-to-point transport, which included taxis and private-hire cars.

This was even though the Government had set aside more than S$530 million for support measures such as the Covid-19 Driver Relief Fund and the Special Relief Fund, Mr Iswaran said.

He was giving a written reply to questions filed by Member of Parliament Saktiandi Supaat of Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency, regarding the causes of recent booking difficulties and price surges of private-hire cars and taxis. 

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