After all the debacle over regular cabbies against drivers from ride-sharing platforms, the answer is finally here. By June 2017, drivers of ride-sharing platforms will be regulated under a regime and this would include licensing for the drivers themselves, registration of the vehicles with respective authorities and a display of their vocational license as well as a display of tamper-evident decal proving that they are licensed to provide their services.
According to a report by Today, in order to remain a Uber or Grab driver, one must apply and obtain a Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational License (PDVL) as well as undergo a health checkup. In order to qualify for the license, Singaporean drivers must be registered owners of a chaffeured-services company or employed by a limousine company. Besides that, the drivers have to own a Class 3 or 3A driving license for a minimum of 24 months.
The PDVL course is about 10 hours in total and drivers will need to pass the mandatory tests given. Meanwhile, regular cabbies who wish to apply for PDVL can convert their Taxi Driver’s Vocational License by attending a two hour briefing on the rules and regulations pertaining chaffeuring services.
According to the Land Transport Authority, the new regulations are enforced in order to “better protect commuter interests” in particular: safety. This new update might help to give ride-sharing services the boost it needs and to stop all confusion on the issue of licensing and boycotting of one service over the other, when compared to regular taxi services. This way, it will be even and fair for not just both entities, but for passengers as well.
Grab’s spokesperson told Vulcan Post, “We commend the Singapore government’s willingness to embrace innovation and build Singapore as a Smart Nation. Grab has been working closely with the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) since we began operating in Singapore. We were among the first to be awarded the LTA Certificate of Registration to operate our third-party taxi booking app in Singapore.
“Grab is aligned with the MOT’s and LTA’s efforts to create a sustainable transportation ecosystem where private hire vehicles are a trusted and reliable transport option and co-exist with taxis, benefiting and protecting both passengers and drivers’ interests. We view these regulations as an endorsement of PHCs and a positive development for the industry as a whole.”