Taxi fare hike: Erm…

Singapore December 12th, 2007

Someone wrote this letter to the Straits Times online forums and I don’t quite know what to make of it. The suggestion of cab-sharing had been tried and tested and thrown out of the window, because, I would think, it’s unpopular. After all, how many people will be willing to let others go to their places first if everyone else is in a rush.

Anyway, what that doesn’t seem to fit into the entire scheme of things here is the way the writer ended the letter – where he listed out a whole list of winners, with Singapore emerging as a top winner – the place that he seemingly calls with pride.

It reminds me of 《我是大赢家》 (I am a big winner).

Why not start a cab-sharing scheme?

YOUR report, ‘Cab surcharge raised to meet demand in the city’ (ST, Dec 11), stated that taxi fares would cost between 18 and 49 per cent more from next week. A trip from the city to Ang Mo Kio during the evening peak hours will cost about $14.35 from $10.65 now.

This fare adjustment will not be the last one for the next few years to come. Sooner or later, we will see fare increases in other forms of transport.

A small country like Singapore should constantly think of how to make the best use of its limited resources. Taxis and roads are limited resources and we cannot keep on increasing them perpetually without incurring huge opportunity costs to our nation.

One way of making better use of our resources is to share them with our fellow citizens as much as we can. Cab-sharing may well be one of the examples.

Let us start such a scheme during peak hours in the city area and certain busy taxi stands outside the city. Let us assume that passengers who share cabs would have to pay only 60 per cent of the fare. Come next Monday, if we have such a scheme, a passenger would have to pay only $8.60 for a trip from the city to Ang Mo Kio instead of $14.35 during peak hours. The $8.60 he has to pay is 20 per cent cheaper than the current fare of $10.65.

Taxi drivers would earn $17.20 in one single trip, 20 per cent more than otherwise.

With such a scheme, a taxi can take one passenger heading for Ang Mo Kio and another heading for Yio Chu Kang, or even Yishun.

There will be many ‘winners’ in such a scheme.

The two obvious ones are the taxi commuters and the drivers.

The third winner, taxi companies, would not have to acquire more taxis just to cater for peak hours.

The fourth winner will be all road users in Singapore. There will be fewer taxis competing with them for road space.

The fifth winner will be our Government.

But the biggest winner of all will be our nation we call Singapore.

Ng Ya Ken

Article obtained from straitstimes.com online forums on 12th December 2007



Reader's Comments

  1. zeezzen | December 12th, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    it is a brainless suggestion. Can Singaporeans get smarter?! Please…

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