Taxis will be removed from the Certificate of Entitlement (COE)
bidding process from next month onwards, reported local media.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew made the announcement on Friday, saying the move was a response to public feedback that taxi operators unduly skewed COE prices.
COE prices rose across the board in the latest bidding exercise last Wednesday, with premiums ranging from $68,000 to over $90,000, depending on the categories of the cars.
"There is evidence to show that the taxis, at least in the last bidding cycle and earlier bidding cycles, have not affected prices. But there is also some evidence that they may have affected prices in the Category A COEs," said Lui, as quoted on Channel NewsAsia.
"Taking in the feedback from the public and from the industry and having studied this issue for quite some time, we thought that this is the appropriate thing to do," he added.
Currently, all taxis bid under the small car Category A of 1600cc and below..
From 1 Aug, they will be removed from the bidding process and just pay Cat A's Prevailing Quota Premium (PQP), which is the moving average of the COE prices for the last six months.
COEs used by taxi operators will also be taken from the quota for Category E, usually meant for big cars.
In another move, the government also announced that in 2014, the number of COEs made available to taxi operators will be tied to whether they meet availability standards.
This after public feedback that taxis are not always available when needed, especially during peak periods.
More details will be unveiled by the Land Transport Authority next week.
The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hit an all-time high of 321 at 10pm on Wednesday, crossing into the "hazardous" range, according to data from the National Environment Agency (NEA).