Frankly, if you ask me, I think it’s all a sham. Haha… ok, maybe not as serious as that, but what I feel is that there is too much emphasis on the wants of taxi drivers to raise the fares. What taxi drivers want, I feel, is to take more bacon home. No, I don’t mean the Cold Storage ones, I mean money. Paycheck. Or whatever you call it.

Before I go into any argument of sorts, I’d like to point out a few things that I’d base my arguments on:

  1. Taxi drivers want more income
  2. Raising fare hikes is one of the ways for them to get more income – probably one of the more obvious ones
  3. Raising fare hikes is NOT THE ONLY method that is available for them to get more income

With that being pointed out, it’s now important to realise one thing: why are taxi drivers complaining about not having enough income? Some reasons cited includes:

  1. Increase in fuel charges
  2. Payment of ERP charges to go into the city area without passengers

In addition to this, there had also been an increase in rental shortly after the last fare hike. The amount however, varies from company to company.

The thing that I don’t get is, why isn’t the companies helping to bear to brunt of the increasing cost of the drivers? Isn’t it supposedly in the best of their interest to help the taxi drivers? Or are they really just like rental companies who are concerned with whether the taxi drivers are paying their rent via Giro and not bother about what happens to them?

I understand that the taxi companies are supposedly profitable organizations, but sometimes, I wonder if they treat their taxi drivers as customers, or do they really consider them as staff? After all, all they are concerned at the end of the day is seemingly ONLY the bottom line and perhaps passenger complains (which I am beginning to doubt because of this). Do they care whether their taxi drivers are in dire straits? Or do they care whether they can pay their rent on time?

Of course, they are help to lower the cost of diesel by providing their own pumps at their own centres, but have they considered that there may be drivers who live at the other end of Singapore and whether it’s worth it to go all the way down to the refuelling stations? If they really want to offer an option to the drivers, I feel that it’s a half-baked option.

For all I know, they might start increasing rentals from the taxi drivers now that the fare hike is confirmed. Perhaps I am really new and raw to the entire concept of capitalism and it probably goes deeper than what I had expected.

In fact you know what? I give up. I don’t think I want to care anymore. Raise taxi fares for all they like. Raise the rentals for all the want. Squeeze the damn daylights out of the taxi drivers and squeeze them dry. Milk them till there’s only bones and roughage left. After all, there will be generations after generations of taxi drivers – why bother about the current fleet? There will be new drivers to take over when the current fleet gives up. At the end of the day, passengers who need to take cabs will still take, those who don’t need to take will stop taking and the disappearing taxis syndrome will stop.

Good.

IT IS official. Taxi fares are going up.

Taxi giant ComfortDelGro Corp has notified the Public Transport Council (PTC) about an imminent fare increase. The PTC could not say more.

Commuters can expect to pay more from as early as the week before Christmas, as taxi operators have to inform the council at least two weeks before any fare changes.

For its part, ComfortDelGro again declined to comment, as it has for several weeks since speculation about a hike first started.

Sources, however, said the adjustment will include a 30-cent rise in flag-down rate. This would bring the minimum starting fare to $2.80. For newer cabs which meet the stringent Euro IV emission standard, the flag-down will go from $2.70 to $3.

Currently, ComfortDelGro has about 2,000 of such cabs in its fleet.

Commuters can expect changes to the distance and time-based charges too. Surcharges are also expected to be streamlined.

There is speculation that the operator might help cabbies defray electronic road- pricing charges to encourage them to enter the Central Business District – where demand for cabs is high.

The signs of a fare hike had been there for some time as cabbies and their associations have been lobbying for it for several months now, arguing the increase in diesel price and the goods and services tax have eroded drivers’ income substantially.

The plight of cabbies is not lost on commuters. Said merchandiser Ivy Ong, 41, who takes cabs regularly: ‘Will this fare adjustment be helping the taxi-drivers? If their taxi rental goes up, I don’t think it would.’

Citigroup Singapore strategist Lim Jit Soon does not think ComfortDelGro would raise rental this time round as it wants to retain as many drivers as possible ‘in this buoyant market’.

‘What it means is that it might gradually remove some subsidies,’ he said.

For instance, ComfortDelGro is still selling diesel to cabbies at 94 cents a litre, 36 cents cheaper than diesel dispensed at stations run by oil companies.

christan@sph.com.sg

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 5th December 2007



Reader's Comments

  1. DK | December 5th, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Looks more like the cab companies want the increase instead of the cab drivers.

  2. xizor2000 | December 5th, 2007 at 10:19 am

    What else is the PTC good for other than rubber-stamping the requests, and passing the costs to us when the problem of disappearing cabs persists?

  3. zeezzen | December 5th, 2007 at 11:39 am

    taxi fares goes up because of rising petrol. But if petrol price drop, will taxi fare go back to 2.50? It wont. this is just an excuse for the taxi companies.

    seems like this cab fare increase issue is inside one of ghost list in one of your post’s comment. its so so so so NOT SURPRISING at all. its expected that they will increase it. what’s next?

  4. Daily SG: 5 Dec 2007 « The Singapore Daily | December 5th, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    […] ERPains, Trains & Automobiles – Simply Jean: What I think about taxi fare hikes […]

  5. family man | December 5th, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    aiyah, what is the problem. Raise the fares, charge more rental. Finally the foreign talent will be employed to take over cabs. So?

  6. spyer | December 5th, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    The baseline for all their decision making processes is their bottomline. They start the process of problem solving is to maintain their bottomlines first and work their way down, down to the end (that is, the passengers).

    Yes, it is not the other way around – the end users of our world class transportation system first. That is why we are in this situation.

  7. protect-them-not | December 5th, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Tired of paying more and more while taxi companies continue making supernormal profits?

    Open up the taxi market. Issue several more licenses for new taxi companies to compete. Taxi rental rates will go down and service standards will go up.

    Is the gahmen willing to do that in view of their heavy shareholdings in Comfort Cab? Are they protecting the interest of the citizens or themselves?

  8. xizor2000 | December 5th, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    There is no use having more taxi companies if the rental is going to be the same, and the same bunch of clowns are driving them.

  9. 8989 | December 6th, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Raise all u one , blood suckers. let see how long sigaporean can take before their tolerance will break Or the suckers who started all these shit will all die of terminal illness or aids.

  10. xizor2000 | December 7th, 2007 at 2:16 am

    Singaporeans have short memories, 8989. And I probably have make the same curse u made many more years before and it didn’t seem to work.

  11. Riko | December 12th, 2007 at 9:37 am

    Why do we have to pay different fares/rates for different taxis i.e. companies and models. I think the taxis should have a display on the windscreen or doors or on the taxi roof top. Which is the cheapest? Why don’t all taxis have the same fare and rate? Very confusing!!!

  12. CK | December 12th, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Firstly it can be considered price fixing when Comfort “urges” everyone to follow suit.
    Secondly if Im a rival company, would not it make more sense to keep my prices low and have more customers book my cabs instead of my more expensive rival?
    Thirdly it’s really unique that only here in Singapore, Rival companies meet and agree that all will increase prices together.

    Well its no surprise…. Comfort is govt owned and so is SMRT… so is a case of right hand versus left hand.

  13. akunoningen | December 30th, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    humans ae humans they only want profit . they wont care about others they dont even give a damn to it

  14. xizor2000 | January 3rd, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Rumor is that some taxi drivers are saying that if the current ‘bad business’ situation persists until Chinese New Year, they are considering quitting. Let’s keep this up…

  15. Dan | May 9th, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    I create this taxi or cab fare calculator for singaporeans to use.

    Hope this prevents taxi drivers on cheat case, fare not justify.

    http://www.efxsoft.com/tripsum/taxifare.asp

    Fare include all surcharges at different times and area.

    Hope this helps to all Singaporeans who wanna take cab with the justified payment amount.

    http://www.TripSum.com

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