Raising the minimum age for private-hire drivers could become a reality.
In a recent article on Zaobao Chinese Newspapers, Mr Ang Hin Kee suggested raising the minimum age for private-hire drivers.
Singaporeans or Singapore PR with a valid class 3/3A/3C/3CA Singapore driving licence for at least a continuous period of 2 years at the point of application can apply for a PDVL.
Who is Mr Ang Hin Kee
He is the adviser to the National Private Hire Vehicles Association of Singapore. Basically, he is the voice of the taxi and private hire industry.
The Private-Hire Drivers vs Taxi Statistics
In a recent release of industry statistics, there are about 41,000 PDVL holders and 99,990 Taxi Vocational Licence (TDVL) holders.
They broke down the statistics further into various age group and compared.
The percentage of private-hire drivers in the 20-39 years age group is significantly higher compared to taxi drivers in the 30-39 years age group.
There are about 18204 private-hire drivers aged 20-39. Zaobao reports that there are 6500 of these drivers below the age of 30.
Why need to Change?
There are almost 140,000 licences holders together with 20,000 taxis and 60,000 private-hire cars registered. Although not all licences holder operates, the market has sufficient capacity.
Mr Ang Hin Kee suggested making levelling the playing field between the private-hire and taxi industry.
The proposed changes would include adopting the same Singaporean-only criteria for PDVL holders instead of Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents.
The second change would be implementing a minimum age requirement for PDVL holders.
Mr Ang explains the reason for adopting a similar approach to having a minimum age like TDVL holders. The purpose is to encourage young people to seek job opportunities and gain experience in the economy after they graduate and not to jump into the private-hire industry immediately.
Drivers generally supported the suggestion of protecting taxi and private-hire jobs for Singaporeans only. (unless you are a foreigner or SPR)
However, many drivers had different views on implementing a minimum age. A valid point being made was not everyone wants to be hired.
Some people aspire to be freelancers or do their own business. Driving as a part-time income would help to stay afloat in their businesses. Many property agents, insurance agents and small business owners can attest to that.
Too many considerations in making any decision.