COVID-19: Taxi, private-hire drivers can now deliver food, goods till end-June

Taxis from Singapore's ComfortDelGro. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

SINGAPORE – Taxi and private-hire drivers can now deliver food and groceries in order to meet increased demand during this time when various measures are being implemented in the fight against COVID-19.

In a Facebook post on Sunday (29 March), transport minister Khaw Boon Wan said that the government will expand an ongoing Grab trial and will “avail this option to taxi and other PHC [private hire car] operators to allow their drivers to participate in such delivery service, if they wish”.

“This will also help supplement their income. This will be a temporary liberalisation of P2P [point-to-point transport] regulations... It takes immediate effect till end of June 2020,” he said.

Khaw noted that the demand for home deliveries have increased due to factors such as tighter safe distancing measures, and working-from-home and telecommuting policies. “Anecdotally, it has gotten difficult to obtain a delivery slot across the various online grocery platforms. We are also observing a dip in the fulfilment rates for online food deliveries,” he said. “The demand for home delivery will only increase in the upcoming weeks as we push for more people to work from home.”

Though the government were concerned about such a service affecting the traditional passenger service and contributing to traffic jams, he said they nevertheless went ahead with the temporary liberalisation.

“This is an unusual time, with reduced demand for point-to-point transport and less traffic on the road.”

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