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[Level 3 COVID Alert] Cabs Permitted to Deliver Goods, Meals

Taipei city hallIn response to the nationwide Level 3 COVID Alert declared by Taiwan Centers of Disease Control (CDC), Taipei City Government announced that it will permit individual taxi operators and taxi fleet companies to participate in the distribution and transport of meals and merchandise during the pandemic period.
 
The Public Transportation Office pointed out that since the announcement of nationwide Level 3 COVID Alert by the CDC on May 15, the period has been further extended through June 28. Given the severity of the situation, the city government banned instore dining at local restaurants and beverage shops to reduce the risk of spread. However, these stores suffer economic hardship as a result of the policy, seeing a decline in business of 50% for beverage shops and 80% for restaurants focusing on dine-ins.
 
Likewise, the quasi-lockdown has also negatively impacted cab drivers, with some reporting earnings comparable to 10-20% of pre-pandemic level income. Despite the emergency aid of NT$30,000 over 3 months by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the lookout remains bleak for taxi operators.
 
On the other hand, e-commerce and delivery services are seeing unprecedented boom, with demand growing by as much as 50%. However, the shortage in manpower has led to severe backlogging and delays in deliveries.
 
For the current stage of COVID Alert, the city government announced that it will expropriate the services of taxi drivers in accordance with the Communicable Disease Control Act. Through this action, it hopes to boost collaboration among cab operators, e-commerce businesses, catering industry, and delivery services to ensure the optimized use of resources, helping these businesses to withstand the challenges of the pandemic. It also called upon residents to stay home and shop online or order delivery, thereby minimizing the need to leave home and reducing unnecessary exposure.
 
The charges for delivery service by taxi will be determined by market mechanism and pending agreements between taxi driver/fleets and partner businesses rather than charging by standard taxi meters.