TAIPEI (The China Post) – President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) invited local cab drivers to discuss policies regarding taxi replacement at the Presidential Office on Jan. 23 alongside Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍).

Speaking during the meeting, the president promised subsidies of NT$350,000 and NT$250,000 upon purchases of electric and hybrid cars, respectively, while gasoline-powered vehicles could get an allowance of up to NT$150,000.

Asked for more details on the implementation of the new policy, President Tsai announced three guidelines in the meeting, according to Presidential Office spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵).

To begin with, the president wants her administration to detail how cabdrivers can obtain the aforesaid subsidy as soon as possible. The latter is in line with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ current plan to support the trade in of old vehicles for new gasoline-powered vehicles, hybrids or electric cars for subsidies between NT$150,000, NT$250,000 and NT$350,000, respectively,

Meanwhile, the government aims to bring its efforts for transforming the taxi industry to the next level, including the creation of a systematic framework to assist the traditional sector in developing new services.

The president also said the government will take measure to help drivers obtain new business registration that not only enhances their driving skills but also pushes for a more diversified industry.

Tsai also proposed a “cab ride for everyone” program to subsidize taxi services in rural townships, where cab drivers also have social responsibilities such as public transportation, medical transport and hospital visits for the elderly and pregnant women.

Aside from these three major guidelines, the president also asked her administration to take into account the public expectations under this framework, including staff training, expansion of service locations, and the question of rush-hour parking, the spokesperson said.