Taxi, private hire drivers and Changi Airport staff receive thanks on first day of CNY
On the first day of Chinese New Year on Sunday, Mr Joseph Goh hit the road early for some extra cash before celebrations with his family later in the day.
The 57-year-old, who has been a private-hire driver for about six years, said he prefers to work, even during holidays, to make sure he has enough to cover the daily rental fee of $90 for his Toyota Noah.
Mr Goh drives for several ride-hailing platforms, clocking 12 to 14-hour shifts every day.
On Sunday, he and other point-to-point drivers, as well as taxi drivers and airport staff at Changi Airport Terminal 3 received thanks, for providing essential services during the festive period.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung and Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Transport as well as Sustainability and the Environment, joined leaders from the affiliated associations of the National Trades Union Congress – the National Taxi Association (NTA) and National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA) - in handing out gift bags and engaging with them.
Advisor to NTA and NPHVA Yeo Wan Ling, said: “It has been a tough two over years for our point-to-point driving community – braving the dry ridership spells that the pandemic brought and marching on despite low or zero earnings at stretches of time in the darkest moments.
“Our taxi and private hire vehicle drivers have been putting in longer working hours to cater to the transportation needs of the community and more recently, the increase in international visitors. Today, we thank them for their tenacity and resilience, and for sacrificing their family time to ferry us from point to point during this festive period.”
She added that both associations will continue to ensure that drivers’ interests are taken care of, and they receive the support they need.
Mr Goh, also a general secretary of NPHVA, said: “Even though costs are rising, it is also important to remember to spend time with our families for special occasions like Chinese New Year. We as drivers, are also human.”