With demand for taxis expected to recover, taxi drivers for ComfortDelGro will pay half the usual rental rates for the month of June.
ComfortDelGro halves taxi rental waiver for June 2020 From June 2, taxi drivers for Singapore's largest cab operator will pay half the usual rental rates PHOTO: ST FILE

The full rental waiver for ComfortDelGro cabbies will end next month. From 2 June 2020, taxi drivers for Singapore's largest cab operator will pay half the usual rental rates.

This means the listed company's rental waivers will range from $45 to $86 per day, depending on the make, model and age of the taxi.

ComfortDelGro Taxi Chief Executive Ang Wei Neng said, "Many will continue to work from home and a large number of businesses will still remain closed. Taxi demand, while it is expected to pick up somewhat, is not expected to return to normal anytime soon. We know that things will continue to be tough for our cabbies still but having already extended full rental waiver for the last two months, we are unable to do so for a third. We hope that the 50% rental waiver for the month of June will, however, help ease some of their financial load."

The company said it will "ramp up efforts to secure more delivery jobs" for its drivers - both through its delivery platform ComfortDelivery and other similar platforms. To-date, ComfortDelGro has been working with close to 50 F&B outlets to offer its cabbies delivery job options. Close to 2,000 taxis are now making deliveries for more than 800 food partners. Another 400 have been redeployed to other alternative jobs, such as service ambassadors at MRT stations.

Cabby Henry Tay, 49, said a 50% rental waiver will not help much, "I think many will return their cabs," he said. "I don't think there will be any noticeable increase in passenger numbers. Even those who go back to office to work, most will use public transport. Only a minority will take cabs, because everyone knows things will be tough for at least the next one year. So they will not spend more if they can help it. Plus we are still not getting any tourists or corporate travellers."

Mr. Tay said his street hail jobs amount to "only $40 to $50 a day on average". "I have to do food deliveries to cover my costs," he said, adding that "nowadays, there is hardly any booking jobs". "People just walk out and they can get a cab almost immediately," he added.