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A long-delayed regulatory framework to level the playing field between cabbies and private-hire drivers will kick in by the end of October.

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Asked for an update on the Regulatory Framework for the Point-To-Point (P2P) Transport Sector, the Land Transport Authority said it would start later in the month.

The framework has been in the works for about three years now, with the P2P Passenger Transport Industry Act being passed in August last year.

The framework was to have taken effect by June this year. But because of the Covid-19 crisis, which has disrupted transport demand, it was postponed to September, and then to October.

It is understood that the framework will take effect in the latter half of the month. With it, operators will incur licensing fees which are pegged to their respective revenues.

For a street-hail service licence, which allows drivers to pick up passengers on the street, the fee is 0.3 per cent of the licensee’s gross annual revenue.

For a ride-hailing licence, which restricts a licensee to only phone-hailed rides, operators are to pay a fee equivalent to 0.6 per cent of their gross revenue.

While the framework is expected to address an uneven playing field, stakeholders and observers reckon more can be done.

A Grab spokesman said while the company “supports the intent” of the framework, all ride-hail and carpool platform operators should be required to build in-app safety features such as number-masking, emergency button, sharing of real-time ride location, and driver identity authentication.

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