Starting from Monday, taxi companies will also be able to apply for government subsidies to replace their older vehicles, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday.
A policy to subsidize the purchase of new cars by taxi drivers was announced last year. The policy applied only to independent taxi drivers whose cars have been in operation for more than 14 years.
The ministry has gradually loosened restrictions to include motor vehicles that have been in operation for more than seven years.
Applicants must agree to undergo training designed to enhance the quality of their service before they can receive the subsidy.
Each qualified applicant will be eligible for a subsidy of NT$40,000, NT$30,000 of which is provided by the ministry and NT$10,000 from the Environmental Protection Administration.
As of Monday this week, the ministry has received a total of 1,962 applications for the subsidy. Only 25 percent of the applications involved cars that have been in operation for more than 14 years. Those that have been in operation for between 10 and 14 years accounted for 38 percent of the applications. Thirty-seven percent of the applications involved cars that have been in operation for between seven and 10 years.
Further analysis of the applicants showed that 45 percent of them were independent taxi drivers. Thirty-two percent were independent taxi drivers who joined a licensed taxi company for insurance and other reasons, while 22 percent were driving cars owned by taxi companies.