After consolidating all the various reasons that are conjured or from first hand accounts, Simply Jean presents to you… the top 10 reasons on why that taxi driver seemed to just zoom pass you, or is HIRED with no passengers, or is simply just sitting in the comfort of his cab (pun unintended) having a sparring session with your eyes as you wait in the coldness of the rain waiting for a cab in the queue.

Disclaimer: These accounts may be fictitious or conjured and may not represent the views of the entire fleet of taxi drivers.

On why taxis seem to disappear during peak hour in CBD
I’m outside CBD wat… if I go in, then who pay for ERP?

On why taxis are not picking up people from heartlands
No lah, if I go to town, then I can earn surcharge mah (Ed: so who pays the ERP?)

On why taxis seem to disappear on rainy days
Outside raining so badly, can’t find people and bad traffic… might as well enjoy my cup of hot kopi while waiting for people to call for taxi. Like that then can earn surcharge mah!

On why taxis are everywhere but not at the taxi stand
Like that then can earn surcharge mah… they wait, I wait lor. They call then I pick them up lor. Why pick them up when I can earn a few dollars more when they give up and call? Eh? Rhymes hor?

On why taxis seem to disappear before midnight
Aiyah, this kind of question who will ask one? Of course to earn midnight charge lah. 50% more, ok?

On why taxis tout for customers
Eh? You can’t see ah? Mercedes ok? Mercedes means higher rental, then of course must charge higher mah? People don’t know… they will pay more

On why taxis seem to disappear after 9:30am
Aiyah, those people so kiam siap (stingy), they don’t want to pay peak hour surcharge, then ok lor. After driving one whole morning, I also need rest mah. Of course go drink kopi

On why taxis seem to disappear before 5:00pm
Change shift mah… no lah… actually we are waiting for the evening peak hour surcharge

On why taxis don’t want to pick passengers up even when they are in a taxi stand
Eh, I tell you. You know where she want to go or not? Just a few blocks away. Siao ah, I queue here just to take her to a few blocks away? Waste me time only… so ask her to take the taxi behind lor

On why taxis don’t want to pick up passengers along the road
Just now that one ah? Don’t want lah. I want to pick someone who is going town, then I no need to pay ERP, then can get CBD surcharge from people taking my taxi inside CBD. Maybe lucky, can earn peak hour also. Like that then tan tio (hit jackpot)!

PS: Guess the theme of these reasons

PPS: Do feel free to add more to it

Reader's Comments

  1. arzhou (adrian) | November 29th, 2007 at 9:37 am

    They should drop all surcharges and raise the damn cost. That means a taxi starts are say $3.50-$4.00 and the meter goes a bit faster. That way taxi drivers will earn but we dun have this crappy problem

  2. walter | November 29th, 2007 at 10:06 am

    On why even taxis that you call end up MIA-ing

    Your place so confusing I don’t know where to find leh. So I just press the button to say that I am there already and wait for YOU to find ME lor. Diesel prices going up anyway.

  3. angie | November 29th, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I dont think this paints taxi men in a very accurate light — earning just $1500 a month, do you really blame them for trying to earn more? It’s what most of us would do. The pertinent question is : Are taxi drivers being paid fairly… or are the taxi companies simply siphoning away their earnings with their vehicle rental “management” fees.

  4. Vandalin | November 29th, 2007 at 10:48 am

    Gotta agree with Angie that taxi rental charges in Singapore’s exhorbitant.

    Normal taxi charges are slightly under S$3,000 per month to slightly above S$4,000 per month for Merc cabs. Cost price of providing infrastructure, purchase and maintaining cabs, est. $1-$1.5k per cab.

    You do the math on the profit margin of the cab companies.

    That being said, I have spoken to virtually every cab driver I have come across (this research is not claimable under any government funding) and there is not ONE taxi driver who doesn’t pick and choose his clients, and wait for “special rates” that has ever had difficulty earning a living, sustaining a family and raising a brood of happy children.

  5. Vandalin | November 29th, 2007 at 10:50 am

    PS. here’s another excuse. “Got call in XXX area ah. Sorry.”

  6. Zhanzhao | November 29th, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Actually during rainy days they cab drivers to not need to wait in the kopitiam until getting a call…. the call comes in nonstop! Try calling in during a rain, and you’ll even be lucky to get into the system o_O

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  8. a_x | December 4th, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Just call the LTA’s hotline at 1800-225-5582. Quite a harsh punishment.

    “Cabbies who refuse to pick up passengers will now face harsher penalties: a $300 fine, six demerit points and an immediate two-week suspension.”

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