With higher demand for home deliveries as Singaporeans practice safe distancing, taxi and private-hire car (PHC) drivers are allowed to service grocery and food delivery jobs for the time being.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced this in a Facebook post on Sunday (29 March), saying that it takes “immediate effect till end of June 2020”.
Drivers previously could not perform deliveries due to concerns that it would affect their availability to fulfil traditional passenger rides, and potentially contribute to traffic jams.
Currently, however, Minister Khaw said we are in “an unusual time” with low demand for point-to-point transport and less traffic on the roads amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
On the other hand, delivery orders have spiked as people stay home, already making it “difficult to obtain a delivery slot across the various online grocery platforms”.
“The demand for home delivery will only increase in the upcoming weeks as we push for more people to work from home,” he added.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) currently has a limited trial with Grab to allow its driver-partners to deliver food and groceries.
This trial will now be expanded, and other taxi and ride-hailing firms can also avail this option to their drivers.
In response, Gojek said it is exploring how to incorporate deliveries into its services in Singapore.
“We are exploring what the best approach to this might look like, which could include a partnership model. We will continue to work with the Singapore government to find new ways to support our driver-partners during this period,” said Gojek Singapore General Manager, Lien Choong Luen.
Beyond meeting customer demand for food and grocery deliveries, Minister Khaw also said this “temporary liberalisation” of point-to-point regulations can help drivers supplement their income during this time.
Featured Image Credit: Grab / Supermarket Perimeter