Point-to-Point Drivers Stand Ready to Serve Anticipated Increase in Tourist Arrivals

The National Taxi Association and National Private Hire Vehicles Association specially thanked point-to-point drivers on the first day of the Lunar New Year.
By Shukry Rashid 22 Jan 2023

Singapore’s point-to-point (P2P) drivers stand ready to serve the anticipated increase in tourist arrivals, said the National Taxi Association (NTA) and National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA) on 22 January 2023.

The associations were at Changi Airport Terminal 3 on the first day of the Lunar New Year to thank P2P drivers for providing the essential service.

The P2P drivers were presented with specially canvassed gift bags, which included water tumblers to remind drivers to stay hydrated.

NTA and NPHVA said: “With 99 per cent of taxi and private hire vehicle drivers fully vaccinated, and many having taken their booster shots to keep their vaccination status up to date, the P2P driving community has one of the highest vaccination rates among worker groups.”

Health minister Ong Ye Kung and Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Amy Khor were present during the event.

According to the Singapore Tourism Board, international visitor arrivals are expected to reach around 12 to 14 million this year, bringing in approximately $18 to 21 billion in tourism receipts.

Singapore expects this year’s visitor numbers to be around two-thirds to three-quarters of 2019.

Looking out for P2P Drivers

NTA and NPHVA Yeo Wan Ling Advisor said: “Today, we thank them [P2P drivers] for their tenacity and resilience and for sacrificing their family time to ferry us from point to point during this festive period. As we adjust to a new normal, NTA and NPHVA will continue to ensure that our drivers’ interests are taken care of and receive the support they need.”

The announcement comes as countries worldwide started banning or imposing restrictions for tourist arrivals from China amid growing COVID-19 cases as the country reopened its borders earlier this month.

The growing list of countries includes Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, the United States, Italy and Spain.

Last month, China’s National Health Commission stopped publishing daily COVID-19 data.

Under China’s revised methodology, only those who die specifically of respiratory failure caused by the virus are recorded as COVID-19 deaths.

Mr Ong also said in Parliament on 9 January 2023 that Singapore would not impose new restrictions on travellers from China.

Private hire driver and NPHVA General Secretary Joseph Goh said that P2P drivers are still taking precautions such as wearing of masks, placing hand sanitizers in their cars and cleaning their vehicles in between trips.

Prioritising Health and Wellness

In addition to keeping the community safe, NTA and NPHVA said they also prioritise the health and wellness of P2P drivers.

The associations have worked closely with the NTUC Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit and the Health Promotion Board to hold talks on ergonomics and self-care. They have also organised free health screenings and health coaching.

NTUC also actively encourages drivers to adopt healthier habits such as having balanced meals, carving out time for exercise, taking regular breaks to rest during work, and participating in regular health screenings.

Ms Yeo said: “We encourage all taxi drivers and private hire vehicle drivers to sign up as members with our associations if they have not done so so that they can be part of our bigger voice for P2P drivers.”