1. SMRT Taxis will provide our taxi partners another $2.5 million in rental rebates through the new Additional Special Relief Fund (ASRF) for the next three months. This is separate from the Special Relief Fund (SRF) that was announced by the Government on 13 February 2020.
2. Under the ASRF, all our full-time taxi partners will each receive a daily rental rebate of $15 from today to the end of March 2020; a $10 rebate in April, and a $5 rebate in May (1-13 May). This is on top of the Special Relief Fund of $20 per vehicle for three months from 14 February. Our SMRT taxi partners will see a daily total rental reduction of $35 till the end of March, $30 for the month of April, and $25 from 1 to 13 May.
3. Since the start of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, demand for taxi services has fallen, leading to a drop in earnings for our taxi partners.
4. SMRT is supporting them through these tough times. Our taxi partners will receive from us a total of around $4.8 million over the next three months. This is in addition to the $2.34 million provided by the Government through the SRF.
5. Mr Tony Heng, Senior Vice President of SMRT Road Holdings, said: “SMRT Taxis has been closely monitoring the situation, and we are constantly seeking feedback from our taxi partners and working with the National Taxi Association so we can better support our taxi partners during this uncertain period. We stand together with our taxi partners as they continue to provide point-to-point journeys to the public.”
6. As announced earlier, 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 should they be affected in the current situation by a leave of absence, 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.
7. 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.