Singapore

Cabbies sign up for flexi-rental scheme

More than 1,000 cabbies from ComfortDelGro have opted for a new flexi-rental programme to help lighten the burden of paying their full rental fees daily.

The scheme, launched by the island's biggest taxi firm last September, is aimed at fighting the trend of cabbies exiting the industry in the face of competition from private-hire services.

Under the "25CJ" initiative, taxi drivers can pay a reduced rental fee - of as much as half - every day, The Straits Times learnt recently from the scheme's participants.

In return, they must complete at least 25 booking jobs - also called current jobs - in a week, and the fare earnings from these trips will be retained by ComfortDelGro, as a form of rebate for the reduced daily rentals.

The amount collected, however, will be capped in a way that allows most cabbies to enjoy some net savings in their rental costs. Other flexi-rental schemes being rolled out by the firm include a pay-as-you-drive system, in which cabbies pay rentals according to their mileage.

ComfortDelGro, which owns more than 16,700 taxis - accounting for about 60 per cent of the market - declined to reveal details when asked.

Its group corporate communications officer Tammy Tan said that "in a competitive environment, it is not unusual for companies to introduce schemes and promotions", and the firm will continue to do so.

Cabbies under the 25CJ scheme, such as Mr Choo Joo Cheng, 59, said he used to pay about $100 a day to rent his Hyundai Sonata, but it is now $85 to $90.

He said in Mandarin: "Competition is very intense from the private-hire car services. My income has dropped by about 20 per cent compared to a few years back. So these savings help."

Mr Tan Ah Suay, 63, another driver on the scheme, said he saves between $40 to $80 in rentals each week.

taxirentaltransport