Taxi industry was liberalised in 2004. Since then, the number of registered taxis on the road had increased from 19,000 plus to the current 26,000 plus. Over the last eight years, we had seen about 7000 more taxis on the road.
It is estimated that about 30% of the 26,000 taxi fleet in the market are operating on one man operation. This means that the current fleet of taxis we have is underutilised to serve the commuting needs of the public.
We should review the statutory obligation of the taxi companies; shift the focus from hiring out their taxis to one that they need to ensure full utilisation of every taxi they hire out.
To support this enhanced statutory obligation of taxi companies, I urge the Government to provide strong incentives to help taxi companies to have the necessary capability to monitor who are driving their taxis and how their fleet of taxis are utilised, and a comprehensive system to match reliable relief taxi drivers to their principal hirers. This way, I believe most one man operated taxis or OMO hirers would welcome the fact that they would find it easier to find suitable relief drivers to lighten the burden of their daily operating cost. More fully utilised taxis would also mean that the supply of taxi service would be higher throughout the day to fulfil the demand for taxi service, without the need to put more taxis on the roads.
By making taxi companies more productive in supplying taxi service, it would benefit both the taxi drivers and the public commuters.