33,000 approved to attend PDVL course
LTA has received 39,000 applications for Private Hire Car Driver's Vocational Licence as deadline looms
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) received about 39,000 applications for the Private Hire Car Driver's Vocational Licence (PDVL) as of Wednesday.
An LTA spokesman told The New Paper yesterday that 36,000 applications have been processed. Of these, about 33,000, or 85 per cent, have been given approval to go for the PDVL course, which they must pass within a year.
They will be allowed to continue driving during this period.
So far, 500 people have passed the course.
Said the spokesman: "About 1,300 have been rejected either because of failed background checks or because they did not have the minimum two years' Class 3/3A driving experience.
"These were requirements put in place to safeguard commuter safety."
Those who send in their applications after June 30 will not be allowed to drive private-hire cars until they get the licence.
Applicants must attend a 10-hour course and hold a Class 3/3A driving licence that has been valid for a continuous period of at least two years.
All applicants will be required to undergo a medical examination, and there will be background checks.
The regulations could prove to be a hurdle for new private-hire drivers here, National University of Singapore transport researcher Lee Der-Horng told The Straits Times.
This is because they might not want to go through the hassle of having to wait to get a licence or have a private-hire decal affixed to their cars, he said.
As ridership moves towards private-hire cars instead of taxis, said Dr Lee, this could mean that Uber and Grab may choose to target the more than 99,000 taxi driver vocational licence holders here, who are not required to apply for the PDVL.
About 27,000 private-hire cars - or about 63 per cent of the total population of 42,805 - have been affixed with tamper-evident decals, which must be displayed on all private-hire cars providing chauffeured services from July 1.
Drivers The Straits Times spoke to welcomed the new measures.
One driver who passed the 10-hour PDVL course, Mr Gregory Poo, said the decal allowed passengers to identify his vehicle more easily, and made it easier for him to drop off and pick up passengers as well.
"Now, when I enter condominiums, the security guards know I am there to pick up or drop off passengers," said the 53-year-old information technology technician, who drives part-time for Uber.
Full-time Grab driver Calvin Chan, who also passed the course, said it was beneficial.
"Although I have a lot of driving experience, as a private-hire driver there are a lot of things you need to know, like where to pick up (passengers) and making sure there is a car seat set up for those with young children," the 47-year-old told ST.