On 27 January 2003, LTA introduced a new licensing framework for taxi companies to allow greater competition within the taxi industry and to improve the quality of taxi services for the benefit of commuters. Our Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Teo Kiang Ang, saw the good opportunity and growth potential in the public transportation industry and applied for a TOL from the LTA. Mr Teo Kiang Ang is also the Managing Director of Union Energy Corporation Pte Ltd., which is carrying on the business of LPG retailing. Mr Teo was previously managing a sole proprietorship supplying diesel which has since been corporatized when Trans-cab Logistics was incorporated in 2007. Through his business of supplying diesel to consumers which included taxi drivers, Mr Teo has cultivated an extensive network of taxi-drivers, which was instrumental in the setting up of our business. Mr Teo established Trans-cab Services on 23 April 2003 to providing taxi services to the public.
On 31 July 2003, Trans-cab Services was amongst the first taxi operator to obtain its TOL from the LTA after the liberalisation of the taxi services industry. On 17 January 2004, our Group commenced its operation with an initial fleet size of 50 taxis. By January 2005, our Group had expanded its fleet of taxis to 470, well exceeding the requirement by the LTA of 400 taxis by its fourth year of business. In 2007, our Group acquired 100 Mercedes taxis with the aim of catering to the increasing demand for premium taxi services by business executives and tourists. As at September 2009, our Group had an extended fleet of 3,139 taxis, making it the second largest taxi operator in Singapore. In line with the Singapore government's commitment to promote the use of cleaner sources of energy, we introduced CNG-powered taxis to our fleet of taxis in 2008 as an environmentally friendlier alternative to diesel-powered taxis. Our Company has registered approximately 1,000 units of CNG-powered taxis as at 30 September 2009, making us the largest operator of CNG-powered taxis in Singapore.
Initially, we introduced a walkie-talkie booking system for communication between us and the taxi drivers for taxi bookings. With an expanding fleet of taxis, a more effective taxi booking system became apparent. In September 2006, to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of taxi call bookings and to provide 24 hours taxi booking service, we invested in a GPRS call booking system to replace the walkie-talkie booking system.
In January 2004, we established our first in-house depot at 17 Defu Lane 12, Defu Lane Industrial Estate to provide repair and maintenance services for its fleet of taxis, including vehicle inspections, the overhaul of systems and accident repairs, to cater to the demand of the expanding fleet of taxis. With our own in-house depot workshop, we are better able to manage our cost and maintain quality control over our expanded fleet of taxis. Our Company established another depot workshop at Woodlands in August 2007 in order to service our larger fleet of taxis.
On 6 June 2007, Trans-cab Logistics was established for the purpose of purchasing diesel from our suppliers which will in turn be sold to our taxi drivers. It also operates diesel pump stations where our taxi drivers enjoy subsidized diesel.
In January 2008, we commenced operations of our first diesel pump station at 58 Defu Lane, Defu Lane Industrial Estate. We currently operate 3 diesel pump stations located at Defu Lane 1, Bukit Batok Street 23 and Defu Lane 11.
In January 2006, due to the expansion of our fleet of taxis and the concomitant increase in our staff size, we relocated our business operations from 17 Defu Lane 12, Defu Lane Industrial Estate to a larger premise at 58 Defu Lane 1, Defu Lane Industrial Estate which is also equipped with our in-house diesel pump stations. This enables us to provide diesel to our drivers at a subsidised rate.
Since the establishment of our Group, we have focused our efforts on building a strong fleet of taxis and to provide a comprehensive range of services to our taxi drivers as well as our commuters. Our initial total staff size (excluding our drivers) of 6 in January 2004 has since then grown to 70 as of 31 December 2009. We commenced our business with 50 drivers and as at 31 December 2009, we have approximately 5,000 drivers registered with Trans-cab Services.