[Update 22 April]
With the four-week extension of the ‘circuit breaker’ until 1 June, and more businesses closed, taxi drivers’ loss of income will be stretched out further.
Transport giant ComfortDelGro is extending its full rental waiver by another month, in line with the new end-date of the circuit breaker.
This will cost the company $17 million, bringing the total amount spent on driver relief to $116 million.
“With the circuit breaker period being extended by another month and further tightening of the existing circuit breaker measures, our cabbies will continue to be hard-hit and find it difficult to make ends meet,” said ComfortDelGro CEO Ang Wei Neng.
“[In] times like these, we have to band together and face the challenges together,” he added.
Besides easing rental costs, the firm has also worked with delivery companies and food businesses to provide alternative jobs to their taxi drivers.
To date, over 680 cabbies have been deployed to take on alternative jobs, including delivery services for partners like Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Cedele and foodpanda.
ComfortDelGro (CDG) has decided to extend its daily rental relief until September 2020, to help its drivers who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Since the launch of the Point-to-Point Support Package in February, CDG drivers have been receiving $46.50 per day.
This amount comprises $10 from the Government’s Special Relief Fund, and $36.50 from the company.
CDG’s contribution is fairly significant, considering that most other taxi and ride-hailing companies are providing about $20 per day ($10 + $10) to support their drivers.
The taxi operator said it originally planned to gradually reduce its relief amounts in April and May.
“However, the worsening economic conditions and enhanced COVID-19 measures have made it imperative that more help be extended to cabbies,” CDG said in a statement.
Due to current circumstances, CDG will maintain its current relief amount to ensure that drivers continue to receive $46.50 per day until 30 September 2020 as long as the situation does not improve.
The move is expected to cost as much as $80 million and will effectively push the company into the red for the year ending 31 December 2020.
It will be the first time that Singapore’s largest taxi operator will post a full-year loss.
ComfortDelGro CEO Ang Wei Neng said that the company’s priority in these unprecedented times is their cabbies.
“Our cabbies are part of the ComfortDelGro family and we want to help them continue to put food on the table,” he said.
In addition to the rental relief extension, CDG will also pass on all savings from the licence fee waivers and unhired taxi relief given by the Government to cabbies until September 2020.
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