ComfortDelGro’s Lexus taxis start plying without rooftop sign, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

ComfortDelGro’s Lexus taxis start plying without rooftop sign

Taxi operator ComfortDelGro launched 30 Lexus ES300 Hybrid taxis on Nov 30, making it the first to use the Toyota luxury brand as cabs here.

In a six-month trial, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has granted permission for these limousine cabs to wear an LED taxi sign behind the windscreen, instead of the rooftop signage stipulated for all taxis here.

Mr Ang Hin Kee, adviser to the National Taxi Association and National Private Hire Vehicles Association, said the new sign will suit drivers who cater to limousine-type services.

"But if street-hail and other passenger segments are unable to be adequately served because of the location of the sign, then drivers will miss out."

Mr Ang said this is why a decision on taxi signage "should not be based on operator preference" but should take into account what taxi commuters prefer.

A manager at a rival taxi operator, who spoke to ST on condition of anonymity, said all taxis should have rooftop signs to minimise confusion, especially among visitors.

"Commuters are already confused today because many private-hire cars have tinted windows, and they cannot see their private-hire blue decal," he noted. "There are also cars that offer private-hire rides, which do not even have these decals."

An LTA spokeswoman reiterated that the in-vehicle LED signage is a trial. "In evaluating the trial, we will take into account factors such as the safety for road users, as well as commuter and driver sentiments," she added.

The new Lexus cabs, all in white, cost $4.80 to flag down, and fares will increase by intervals of 36 cents. A booked ride to the airport costs $65. These charges are in line with raised limousine taxi fares, which the company announced on Nov 23.

The new fares, which came into effect on Nov 30, include a 70-cent increase in the flagdown fare across all its limousine taxis, a two-cent increase in distance-timed rates and waiting-time charges (plus a one-cent temporary fare tariff in effect till June 30, 2024), as well as a $10 increase for special destinations, such as airports.