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2-passenger limit for taxis, private-hire cars during tightened COVID-19 restrictions

2-passenger limit for taxis, private-hire cars during tightened COVID-19 restrictions

A man arriving in Singapore from Malaysia on Aug 17, 2020 walks to a taxi at the Woodlands Checkpoint taxi stand. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: Taxis and private-hire cars can carry only up to two passengers during this period of tightened COVID-19 restrictions, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Sunday (May 16).

The restriction does not apply to passengers from the same household. For example, a parent can travel with his or her two children if they live together, LTA said.

Singapore on Sunday entered what authorities called Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), after a spike in COVID-19 cases in the community. The tightened restrictions will last until Jun 13.

READ: Group sizes down from 5 to 2, dining-in suspended as Singapore tightens COVID-19 measures

READ: Household members can go out in groups of more than 2 for 'essential activities': Ong Ye Kung

In a press release on Sunday, the LTA said it is implementing some measures to minimise interaction and the risk of COVID-19 transmission during commuting.

All commercial car-pooling services such as GrabHitch and RydePool, where drivers are paid for ferrying passengers while en route to their destination, will be barred until Jun 13.

Non-commercial car-pooling trips are only permitted among friends or colleagues if the prevailing permissible group size of two people is adhered to, LTA said. For example, if a group of colleagues is travelling together, they must split into groups of not more than two.

LTA urged commuters to use taxis and private-hire cars booked through their respective ride-hail applications.

Members of the public who come across individuals providing illegal car-pooling services should notify LTA through the OneMotoring portal using the e-service, “Report Vehicle-Related Offences”, it said.

READ: Public transport can be 'very safe' if commuters keep their masks on and refrain from talking, says transport minister

It also reminded passengers that it is mandatory for drivers and passengers to wear masks at all times. Taxi and private-hire drivers should decline to pick up passengers who do not wear masks, it said.

“When travelling on public transport, commuters should try to spread themselves out or travel off-peak periods where possible,” LTA said. 

Former Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung, who has since taken over the health ministry portfolio, said last Friday that public transport is safe if commuters refrain from talking and keep their masks on.

“Be assured that the air ventilation within the train is actually very good. Excluding the opening and closing of train doors, every six minutes, all the air is being replenished,” Mr Ong said during a press conference held by the multi-ministry COVID-19 task force to announce the tightened restrictions.

Before the latest measures, commuter volumes have been at around 70 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, he said. LTA said the figure has dropped to about 40 per cent for central business district journeys by train.

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Source: CNA/cy


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