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HDT Singapore Taxi granted full-fledged operator licence from Aug 1

SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has granted electric taxi operator HDT Singapore Taxi (HDT) a 10-year service operator license, making it the seventh taxi operator in the Republic.

SINGAPORE — The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has granted electric taxi operator HDT Singapore Taxi (HDT) a 10-year service operator license, making it the seventh taxi operator in the Republic.

In a press release on Tuesday (July 31), LTA said that HDT will be required to operate at least 800 e-taxis in Singapore.

The company is given four years — until July 31, 2022 — to increase its fleet from the current 100 e-taxis it has.

The new Taxi Service Operator Licence (TSOL) granted to HDT takes effect from Aug 1. The company has been operating for two years under a special licence as part of an eight-year government test-bed looking into the viability of electric-vehicle business models.

“HDT’s business proposal, company organisational structure, past performance records and financial capabilities have demonstrated the company’s business viability and ability to operate a full-fledged taxi service,” said LTA in its press release.

Mr James Ng, the managing director of HDT Singapore Holding, the parent company of the taxi arm, said that the company is “excited to be granted a full-fledged TSOL”.

“We are confident that our taxi operation model, that is employment of transport specialists (TS) and use of electric cars, is synergistic and beneficial to all stakeholders,” said Mr Ng.

With the newly granted TSOL, HDT will be required to convert its existing fleet of e-taxis, and register them as regular taxis by the end of next month, said LTA.

HDT will also need to ensure that there are sufficient charging stations set up island-wide to support its growing fleet.

In addition, LTA said that the company will have to “comply with Taxi Availability standards and Quality of Service standards”.

LTA sets and reviews service standards to maintain the quality of taxi services and protect commuters’ interests. Taxi companies are, for instance, required to meet service standards in the areas of taxi booking, safety and driver conduct.

Besides HDT, the other six taxi operators here include ComfortDelgro, CityCab, SMRT, Trans-Cab, Premier and Prime Taxi.

Unlike other taxi operators, which rent taxis to drivers, HDT is the first taxi operator here to offer its drivers or TS — who do not pay rent — a basic salary of S$1,600. They also get benefits such as Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions and annual leave. With overtime pay, drivers can earn up to S$2,800.

In addition, drivers who attain certain revenue targets will earn bonuses. Good performers are eligible for “revenue-sharing” — for instance, those who bring in between S$7,500 and S$8,500 will take home S$450, before CPF.

“Our TS will earn a good and stable income, and savings from lower running cost of electric vehicles will also translate into benefits for them. Commuters will enjoy good quality service, as the TS will receive in-house service excellence training, and society will gain from the environmentally friendly cars,” said Mr Ng.

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