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Safeguarding The Health Of Taxi And Private Hire Car Drivers And Passengers

In response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been working with the Ministry of Health (MOH), Point-to-Point (P2P) operators, the National Taxi Association (NTA) and the National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA) on precautionary measures for the P2P sector. These measures serve to safeguard the health of taxi and private hire car (PHC) drivers and their passengers in light of the 2019-nCoV situation, and to ensure that the P2P sector can continue to sustain an important service to Singaporeans during this period.

Taxi and PHC operators have reminded their drivers to continue to practise good personal hygiene and to step up the cleaning and disinfection of their vehicles. Drivers have been advised to wind down their vehicles’ windows when ferrying passengers with flu-like symptoms and after every completed trip to improve ventilation in their vehicles. Drivers have also been advised to take their temperature twice a day, once before starting work and another time in the course of the day. Drivers who are not feeling well should stop work immediately and see a doctor.

To facilitate the temperature screening, taxi operators will set up eight temperature screening stations across all taxi operators’ premises from 11 February 2020. This will progressively be extended to other locations. Taxi drivers whose temperature fall within the acceptable range will receive a sticker for the day to indicate that their temperatures have been checked. Taxi drivers who are identified to be unwell will be asked to seek medical attention immediately and visit the doctor. For PHC drivers, operators will, as a start, require their drivers to take their own temperature and to submit their temperature readings via their mobile applications. Together with the NTA and NPHVA, LTA will also progressively set up island wide temperature taking stations for all P2P drivers.

Passengers should also play their part. In particular, passengers who are unwell are reminded to be socially responsible and don a mask, before their taxi or PHC ride. In this regard, Government has distributed four masks per household to ensure that Singaporeans have access to masks. For passengers who are unwell but do not have a mask and need a ride to seek medical attention, drivers can offer masks if they have one available.

To kick-start the P2P transport sector’s efforts to provide more masks for their drivers, the Government is making a one-time contribution of 300,000 surgical masks for the P2P operators to distribute to active taxi and PHC drivers. These masks are intended for drivers to offer to passengers who are unwell but do not have a mask and need a ride to seek medical attention. The surgical masks will be distributed to drivers in packs of four through the taxi companies and major ride hail operators, starting from 11 February 2020. This move supplements efforts by the taxi companies and ride hail operators since 25 Jan 2020 to give out hand sanitisers and surgical masks to drivers who need them. Collection details for the masks will be provided by the taxi and PHC operators to the drivers.

LTA would like to take this opportunity to thank all stakeholders for their strong cooperation in support of the P2P industry. LTA is committed to continue working with MOH, P2P transport operators, NTA and NPHVA to support the P2P industry in safeguarding the health of drivers and passengers.

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