Shields up! Singapore taxi co. wraps drivers in plastic

Photos: ComfortDelGro Corp.
Photos: ComfortDelGro Corp.

More than 400 ComfortDelGro taxis will be outfitted with plastic partitions to minimize driver contact with passengers, the transport company announced today.

The pilot program will see the shields installed gradually over the coming weeks and may be expanded to more vehicles if deemed successful. The multinational company says it operates 41,600 vehicles in seven countries, 11,500 of which are in Singapore. 

“Our cabbies are exposed to passengers throughout the day and night. While our drivers take as much precaution as they can by wearing masks and constantly disinfecting their cabs, there is still a risk,” CEO Ang Wei Neng said. “These shields will further reduce that level of risk as it serves as an added layer of protection for the cabbies.”

In addition to reducing the risk of current and future viral infections, Ang added that the locally manufactured shields are made from an “unbreakable” material that can protect drivers from physical harm. 

Singapore cabbies sometimes experience abuse. In February, a 54-year-old taxi driver was strangled and punched in an attempted robbery in Hougang. 

The shields also lend another reason to minimize conversation between cabbies and passengers, it seems. And that might be for their own good.

COVID-19 task force co-chair Lawrence Wong yesterday discouraged people from talking to one another while on public transport when COVID-19 measures begin to lift starting June 2. 

This could help “to avoid spreading droplets while they are in an enclosed space,” Wong said. 

Photo: ComfortDelGro Corp.
Photo: ComfortDelGro Corp.

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