HDT Singapore Taxi launches a new taxi ride, powered by BYD e6, all-electric car. We are pleased to have Mr. Chan Chun Sing, Secretary-General of NTUC, as our guest-of-honour.
The electric taxi service is launched with a special co-partnership with Grab Taxis. With effect from today, there will be an Electric Taxi Icon in the Grab apps for customers to order our services. This will help our drivers to get more jobs to earn better income. .
The new venture is a service with a difference. Not only are the electric taxis emission free and quiet, they are also driven, not by hirers, but by employees of the company, a first in Singapore. To implement this new employment practice, we consulted National Taxi Association and NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) on competitive remuneration and skills upgrading needed for staff drivers. The drivers will enjoy full employment benefits, including annual and medical leave, as company staff.
In recognition of the expanded role of our staff drivers and to honour their professionalism, HDT will from today give them a new title of Transport Specialists (TS). This will better reflect their ability and skills to offer a wide range of services to the different groups of customers.
Fifty cars are introduced today and the fleet will grow up to 100, under the terms of the Taxi Service Operator’s Licence (TSOL), by June 2017. This e-taxi trial is part of the Electric Vehicle project co-led by Economic Development Board (EDB) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) to analyse the viability of electric transportation in Singapore. HDT Taxi is confident that the trial will yield positive results and that in time to come, the company plans to apply for a full TSOL that will allow it to operate up to 800 taxis or more. We will grow the electric taxi service at a comfortable pace, together with our private-hire car service that was launched in 2015. In light of Singapore’s aim towards a car-lite society and the growth of a car-sharing economy, the company sees good potential for expanding its business and services.
How Does It Work?
As HDT Taxi embark on the new business model, the transport specialists have performance standards to meet, but they enjoy the advantage of income stability and employee benefits that provide better security for their daily lives. There are incentives to encourage them to be more productive and be better remunerated monthly.
In collaboration with National Taxi Association and e2i, a structured training programme is being provided to newly recruited transport specialists to raise the service standards. The work trial programme and on-the-job training supported by e2i have improved job matching as it enabled the transport specialists to have a better understanding of the job requirements.
Since October 2016, the new employment scheme has attracted many applicants, surpassing the positions available. It has attracted experienced drivers, who were hirers with other taxi companies in the past, and some of whom had received excellent service awards.
Customised training is provided to HDT transport specialists to ensure that everyone is able to accord the best customer service so that passengers will have a pleasant ride, each and every time. Nothing will be too minor for the transport specialists to undertake, whether it is opening of car doors, assisting to carry baggage or providing useful travel information, which they will extend with courtesy and expertise.
Facts, Demands and Challenges
Payment will be made convenient for our customers who will be able to use a range of channels such as cab-charge, credit cards and cash. Those who book our taxis using the Grab app can pay by cash and cashless payment options via GrabPay, such as credit cards, AliPay, Android Pay and GrabPay Credits. There will also be electronic advertisements in every cab for the benefits of the passengers, and in-vehicle cameras will be installed to ensure the service quality provided to passengers. HDT taxis is one of the very first transport service that has obtained approval from LTA to install the cameras, that will give customers better service assurance as they ride with us.
In the current competitive taxi environment with a growing car-sharing economy, HDT is ensuring that our transport specialists will have effective revenue streams. Apart from our exclusive partnership with Grab for app jobs, we have call bookings which will be received through our hotline at 6258 8888, and tie-ups with corporate, school and concierge jobs. We are making every effort to help our transport specialists earn a good and steady income.
Comments from Stakeholders
“With the valuable advice and support from National Taxi Association and e2i on the Place-and-Train programme, HDT will be able to deliver excellent service to all our customers, and also enable our employed transport specialists to earn a steady and attractive income,” HDT Managing Director, Mr. James Ng said.
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Melvin Vu, Head of GrabTaxi Singapore said: “We are excited to welcome Singapore’s first electric taxi fleet onto the Grab platform. This partnership not only strengthens Grab’s multi-modal transport offerings, served by the largest land fleet network of more than 50,000 drivers in Singapore, but also is in line with the government’s move to limit diesel usage in Singapore. Now passengers can get an eco-friendly ride by selecting the Electric Taxi icon, available in beta, via the Grab app.”
Mr. Gilbert Tan, Chief Executive Officer of e2i, said, “We are happy to work with HDT and National Taxi Association to come up with initiatives to place and train our local workforce in this new employment scheme. This collaboration will raise the industry standards by promoting positive competition while raising the welfare benefits for taxi drivers in Singapore. By coming in as an enabler, e2i helps to develop an alternative career option for those who prefer greater stability with employment benefits.”
“The launch of HDT’s e-taxi trial is an important step in Singapore’s journey towards sustainable mobility, and is testament to the growing electric mobility ecosystem in Singapore. As a regional leader in mobility technologies, we welcome companies like HDT to develop, test and commercialise new mobility technologies and innovations through Singapore,” said Mr Tan Kong Hwee, Director, Transport Engineering, Economic Development Board.
Commuters who are interested in engaging our electric taxi service may contact us at 6258 8888. We will also address any queries or feedback sent to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.