By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
It is now official. Foreigners can now legally and officially compete with Singaporean taxi drivers on Singapore roads.
It was announced in Parliament yesterday that Uber, Grab or other transport app drivers will be regulated soon. Like taxi drivers, they will need to get a taxi vocational licence and be subjected to the various LTA taxi regulations.
There is no minimum age as long as the drivers held a Class 3/3A driving licence for at least two years.
But the biggest caveat is, both PRs and work permit holders can now apply. They cannot be sole-proprietors however. All they need to do is to come under the umbrella of a transport company. That is to say, they must be employed by a company.
So, for example, a transport company can hire a work permit holder for $1,000 and give him a bit more commission to work as a ‘taxi driver’. No doubt, with the right incentives and the strong S$, the work permit holder will have no qualms working 12 hours a day voluntarily.
Previously, only Singaporeans can drive taxi as can be seen in LTA website (https://www.lta.gov.sg/
• You must be at least 30 years old;
• You must be a Singapore Citizen holding a pink NRIC;
• You must have a valid Class 3/3A Singapore driving licence for a continuous period of at least one year at the point of application; and
• You must be able to speak and read basic English.
Now, a 20-year-old foreign work permit holder can also get into this trade.
Attractiveness of Strong S$
Indeed, the strong S$ has been attracting a lot of foreigners, especially those from third world countries, to come and work in Singapore.
Take for example, for an Indian national working in Singapore, S$1 can translate to Rs 50 for him to send home.
According to this news (http://infochangeindia.org/
At S$1,000, this translates to Rs 50,000 per month, some 28 times (or 56 times unofficially) that of a cleaner’s wage in Bangalore. It’s no wonder that many third world nationals want to come and work in Singapore, even willing to put up with 12-hour work day, nevermind about flouting Singapore labour laws.
In any case, commuters should be prepared to be see more foreign ‘taxi’ drivers driving them in the near future.
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