Dear Minister Lui,
I’m a full-time taxi driver and I would like to share with you my concerned about Uber limousine Taxi into Singapore market.
Uber had come into Singapore market since 2013, catering services that offer high-end limousine services to their member. Lately, they started their new UberX which cater to the standardise taxi limousine.
In the newspaper report, they had highlight that they do not infringe the LTA rules as they cater to their “Member” only. So What are their so-called members? Members are those who just registered in the Apps and instantly becomes their member. It’s like a wolf in a sheep clothing.
The main concern that I have is as follows:
Private limousine should not charge by meter but rather they should be charged a flat fee. Why are they allowed to charge based on meter which is no different from our local taxi, be it standard taxi or limousine taxi?
Anyone can become a Uber driver so long they have a valid insurance to have commercial coverage. So where is the service standard that we are looking at? Anyone without a valid vocational license can become a Uber driver so long they are registered with Uber. This lead to another question: Is the LTA is the main authority to allow who can drive a taxi in Singapore or Uber are the authority?
This will give taxi driver want-to-be no incentive to get the vocational license if they can drive one without having the license.
The re-surfacing of pirate taxi! With the private car enable to pick up commuters, how can the commuters knows if they are genuine taxi drivers, there will bound to have some driver taking the risk picking commuters without proper insurance coverage just like early 80s.
Bad Taxi service without proper control will create free for all to pick up commuters off the roads.
Protect the only jobs for Singaporean only!
As a displaced PMET, driving a taxi is one of the last resort that we have to survive in today high cost of living in Singapore, With Uber Taxi services, apart from Singaporean can drive, they allowed PR as their limousine Taxi driver as well.
If this is the direction the government that heading, the only Singaporean job will be at risk! What can those other misplaced PMET going to do is there isn’t anymore taxi driving as the last resort?
This is going to reflect badly towards the government caring towards Singaporean!
Negative image of Singapore will be presented to Tourist. While we are known to have strict regulations, nothing is done with this instant. How would the tourists feel if the they take a private vehicle as taxi?
How accurate the meter can be? Although it goes according to the GPS via their phone applications, LTA have no control of how the meter has been charged, will the commuters fairly over charged will be unknown.
The last of the concern is for all commuters! The Safety of the commuters.
With LTA have not authority on who UBER engaged, effectively those former taxi driver who had been revoked of the taxi vocational license can continue to ply their trade via UBER. Current Taxi Driver with valid vocational license will conduct themselves well as their vocational license is at stake. But nothing can be say so if it is from private taxi.
With France, Belgium, Germany and England, in United States (Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago), they have banned or having the intention of banning UBER and other private taxi which do not have the regulation control of the taxi drivers. It has brought unfair advantage of those unlicensed taxi drivers over those license drivers.
With the above concern that I have highlighted, I hoped that your good ministry will take a proper stand on this issue. Any misstep by your good ministry will create chaos in the public transport system that the government had built up over the years.
Note: This email will be cc to The Online Citizen, TR Emeritus, The Real Singapore and LTA