Oral Reply by Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Amy Khor to Parliamentary Question on COEs for Private Hire Car Companies

13 Sep 2022In Parliament
Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis asked the Minister for Transport 

a.     whether there is any evidence to suggest that car rental companies, particularly those leasing to the private hire vehicles (PHV) market, have affected Certificate of Entitlement (COE) bid prices in the past year; 

b.     if not, whether a study on this will be conducted; and 

c.     whether such rental cars and those used for PHVs can be removed from the COE bidding process.
Reply by Senior Minister of State for Transport and Sustainability and the Environment Dr Amy Khor:

1.     There is no evidence that private hire car (PHC) companies have caused the increase in COE bid prices. LTA has been monitoring the market closely and over the past year the demand for COEs from PHC companies as well as the overall PHC population have been stable.
2.     Recognising the role shared point-to-point (P2P) transport plays in our land transport system, from 2012, taxi operators did not have to bid for a COE to register their taxis. Instead, they draw from the pool of Category E (Open) COEs and pay the Category A COE prevailing quota premium. Taxi Availability standards were also introduced, and taxi operators can grow their fleets by up to 2% per annum, subject to meeting the standards.
3.     Unlike taxis, PHCs are essentially privately owned cars that have the flexibility and autonomy to take passengers, thereby augmenting our supply of P2P vehicles. Hence, PHCs are treated like privately owned cars under the vehicle quota system. Removing PHCs from the bidding pool and creating a new category with specific requirements, such as a minimum number of trips to prevent abuse would be difficult to enforce and adds to the compliance cost for PHC operators, drivers, and ultimately consumers.
4.     LTA will continue to monitor the P2P sector and study schemes for further enhancement.

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