SINGAPORE: A total of 23,000 private-hire drivers have yet to obtain their vocational licence with just one week to go before the deadline, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Friday (Jun 22).
Those who fail to obtain the Private Hire Car Driver's Vocational Licence (PDVL) by Jun 30 will not be allowed to provide ride-hailing services after that date, LTA said.
These drivers currently hold an Approval-to-Drive (ATD) concession, which allows them to provide ride-hailing services until Jun 30. They are among 42,900 private-hire drivers who applied for the PDVL before Jul 1 last year, and who received the ATD concession and were given at least one year to obtain a PDVL.
LTA said it has issued several reminders since the beginning of this year to these drivers.
To facilitate applications for PDVL training and testing slots, LTA said it appointed ComfortDelGro Taxi as a new training provider, and the Employment and Employability Institute as a new test centre, in December last year.
This is on top of the existing training and test centre at the Singapore Taxi Academy.
LTA said about 19,900 ATD concession holders have attended and passed the test so far.
“As at Jun 17, 2018, more than four in five of the remaining 23,000 ATD concession holders have not registered to sit for the test even once, despite reminders from the Land Transport Authority, Grab and the National Private Hire Vehicles Association, to do so," LTA said.
"More than nine in 10 of these ATD concession holders who have not attempted the test a single time, have also not attended the PDVL training."
ATD concession holders who have not obtained their PDVL, but wish to continue providing ride-hailing services after Jun 30, will need to reapply for the PDVL at a cost of S$40.
ATD concession holders who have registered for the course and test before Jun 30, but have been scheduled for the tests in early July, need not reapply. These drivers will be allowed to provide ride-hailing services once they obtain the PDVL, LTA said.
PDVL TRAINING AND TEST
Since the implementation of the PDVL, around 70 per cent of applicants who took the test have passed, LTA said.
“The provision of chauffeured service puts drivers in contact with a wide range of commuters every day. Hence, private-hire and taxi drivers must be able to speak simple English to communicate effectively with all commuters – both Singaporeans and tourists.
"Drivers must also be able to read English, so that they can navigate roads and buildings, the names of which are primarily in English."
Drivers who require help with improving their command of English are encouraged to sign up for the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications Workplace Literacy Program or an equivalent.
LTA said that it also constantly reviews the course and test curriculum content to make sure that they are updated and relevant.
Drivers who provide ride-hailing services without a valid vocational licence face a fine of up to S$1,000 and up to three months' jail. Repeat offenders face a fine of up to S$2,000 and up to six months' jail.