Apparently, the PTC approved the fare hike by ComfortDelgro and 3 of the 5 major companies are following the lead. Only Trans-cab is  not contactable and Prime Taxis is holding their horses. This will be effective from 17 December 2007.

After reading the new fare structure for 1 minute, I think I got a little lost because it involves some complicated ERP formula for the taxi drivers as well, involving some refund of some sorts. Never mind. I need to rush out now. I’ll digest it on the way to lab.

Update: Apparently, here’s how the fare structure will be like:

  1. Flag down rate will rise by 30 cents to $2.80
  2. Prime time phone booking will go down by 50 cents to $3.50
  3. City surcharge for taking a cab in the city area will rise by $2.00 to $3.00 from Monday to Saturday, 5:00pm to midnight

What that won’t affect passengers is this:

  1. Refund of ERP charges of between $0.50 and $2.00 if taxi drivers do not get a passenger within 15 minutes of going into the city

I would like to save my personal commentaries for later because I will just lash out lambasting the whole fare system if I comment now.

TAXI fares will go up from Monday and people who want to catch a cab in the city during evening peak hours will see their fares rise the most.

They will pay between 18 per cent and 49 per cent more for a taxi ride home from the city from 5pm to midnight. Heading home to Ang Mo Kio from Orchard Road during these peak hours will cost about $14.35, up from $10.65 now.

Travel during off-peak hours, which will affect the bulk of passengers riding in the 23,000 cabs here, will go up by 10 per cent, said Singapore’s biggest cab company ComfortDelGro, which announced its new fare structure yesterday.

It is raising flag-down rates by 30 cents to $2.80. Surcharges for peak period and late-night travel have also been adjusted.

Three of the other five cab companies say they will follow ComfortDelGro’s lead to raise flag-down rates and up the distance- and time-based charges.

Only one charge is going down – the prime-time call booking fee will be lowered from $4 to $3.50.

Trans-Cab could not comment by press time while Prime Taxis said it will not raise flag-down rates for at least another three months.

One measure that drew attention was ComfortDelGro’s move to raise the city surcharge as a way of ensuring its supply of 15,000 taxis better matches the demand for cabs, where and when they are wanted most.

Commuters will have to pay $3 for a cab in the city between 5pm and midnight from Monday to Saturday, up from $1 now.

ComfortDelGro said the higher surcharge will address the No. 1 complaint of commuters – long waiting times for cabs in the city in the evening.

Its spokesman Tammy Tan said: ‘One reason for this is that many taxis leave the city centre for the suburbs and drivers find little incentive to drive all the way back to the city to pick up new passengers.’

The company dangled one more incentive to lure cabbies into the city area: It will refund cabbies the Electronic Road Pricing charges payable to get into the city – between 50 cents and $2 now – if they do not get a passenger within 15 minutes of passing the gantry.

Cabbies welcomed the news of the higher fares, especially as ComfortDelGro also said it is not raising rentals and will continue with its diesel subsidies. Cabbies pay between $70 and $125 in rent a day regardless of how much they earn.

Cabby Tony Pang, 58, said: ‘Passengers will stay away initially – it’s a knee-jerk reaction. But the increased fares will help us drivers a bit.’

Commuters like insurance agent Kenneth Tan, 27, will think twice about taking a cab now. ‘It’s going to be more costly but if I need to save time or get out of the rain, I might still take one.’

Article obtained from on 11th December 2007

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