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Deregulation of the Taxi Industry

Taxi fares were deregulated in 1998 to allow taxi companies to set their own fares and be more responsive to market conditions. In 2003, the taxi market was further liberalised to allow the entry of new companies to encourage further competition in the industry to the benefit commuters. A new Taxi Service Operator Licence (TSOL) framework was introduced to license taxi companies and service standards were introduced to ensure good service.

Maintaining Service Standards

As the regulator of taxi services, LTA sets and reviews the service standards to maintain taxi service quality and protect commuters' interests. Taxi companies are required to meet service standards in the areas of taxi booking, safety and the conduct of their drivers.  They are also expected to meet other regulatory requirements for renewal of their TSOL. These include achieving the stipulated minimum fleet size and putting in place the capability to locate their taxis to assign taxi booking jobs.

Enhancing Taxi Availability

In 2013, LTA introduced the Taxi Availability (TA) framework to ensure that more taxis are on the roads to serve commuters. Currently, LTA requires taxi companies to ensure that 85% of their taxis are on the road during peak periods (7am to 11am and 5pm to 12 midnight).

Facilitating Third-Party Taxi Booking Services 

Third-party taxi booking services provide commuters and taxi drivers with an additional means of making and accepting taxi bookings. They facilitate more efficient matching of taxis with commuters as they can source for available taxis from more than one taxi company.

To safeguard commuter safety and interests while facilitating the growth of such services, LTA announced a basic regulatory framework in November 2014, which is expected to come into effect in the third quarter of 2015. Under this framework, all third-party taxi booking services will be required to comply with conditions such as dispatching only licensed taxis and taxi drivers if the commuter requests only taxis, specifying taxi fare information to commuters upfront before they board the dispatched taxi, and providing basic customer support services such as avenues for commuters to raise queries and complaints.