26 March 2020
1. SMRT Taxis will give another $5.8 million in rental rebates to our taxi partners who have been hit by significantly reduced demand for their services due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
2. From tomorrow (27 March) to 31 March 2020, all our taxi partners will receive a daily total rental reduction of $60. From 1 to 30 April 2020, all our taxi partners will see a daily total rental reduction of $55. It was previously announced that our partners will receive $35 and $30 respectively for those periods, which includes $10 from the Government as part of the Special Relief Fund (SRF). From 27 March to 30 April 2020, we are increasing the daily rental rebate by $25, to help partners cope with the impact of the enhanced COVID-19 measures which require bars, cinemas and entertainment venues to be closed from 26 March 2020, 2359 hours, to 30 April 2020.
3. The first tranche of the SRF ends on 13 May 2020. From 14 May to 30 September 2020, our taxi partners will also receive a daily total reduction of $20 through the second tranche of the SRF, as announced by the government today. This amount will be funded equally by the government and SMRT over the 4½ months.
4. Together with the $4.8 million in rental rebates that we have already given to taxi partners from February to May, SMRT’s support for our partners come up to around $10.6 million over 7½ months, from mid-February to end September.
5. Mr Tony Heng, Senior Vice President of SMRT Road Holdings, said: “We are grateful to receive financial support from the Government. During this difficult time, taking care of our partners remains a priority for SMRT even though our taxi business unit is facing financial challenges. We are topping up what we get from the Government to support our partners as best we can, financially and in other ways.”
6. SMRT is also working to help our taxi partners with short-term job options and opportunities for a career change to become Bus Captains with SMRT Buses. For those who are still driving taxis and limousines, we are generating more trips for them, such as working with business partners to buy taxi vouchers in bulk. Within SMRT, all staff have been asked to take SMRT taxis for their work trips if they are using point-to-point (P2P) services.
7. SMRT will also waive rental fees for our taxi partners should they be placed under quarantine by the Ministry of Health. In addition, SMRT Taxis’ Helping Hand Fund will also provide care and support to taxi partners who are affected in the current situation by a leave of absence, stay-home notice, quarantine order, or the illness. The fund was established in 2015 to help taxi partners in need, including long-term medical care for a driver’s family member under certain circumstances.
8. Since January 2020, SMRT has also been distributing care packages to our taxi partners to safeguard their health and that of passengers. Each care package includes a pack of 10 surgical masks, a bottle of hand sanitiser, and a bottle of disinfectant. We also strongly encourage our partners to have their temperature taken twice a day at the screening centres that we have set up.