The Straits Times reported that the higher rates are keeping commuters off taxis for this festive season. Strangely enough, I was not able to get any cabs today – at 1145am in the late morning – and most Comfort cabs that I see are all hired.

Perhaps I was trying to get a cab in a housing estate – but that’s Ang Mo Kio and near an MRT station. Where are all the cabs? Don’t tell me they are all waiting for the peak hours now???

Ok, jokes aside. I think most Singaporeans are still taking cab like nobody’s business – and that I don’t really see a sudden influx of taxis waiting for passengers. Hmm… or is it just me?

There maybe a group of them who have sworn off taxis for a while, but I am not sure if this is representative of the entire population. Then again, I don’t think Singaporeans are s**kers, are they?

HIGHER taxi fares are keeping some commuters away this festive season.

ComfortDelgro, largest taxi operator here with 15,000 taxis, saw a 10 per cent drop in all call bookings on Monday, the first day of the increased fares.

SMRT, the second largest operator with 3,000 taxis, also received 200 fewer calls during Monday’s morning peak hours from 7am to 9am.

A spokesman, however, said that bookings went back to normal for the rest of the day. SMRT’s fall in bookings comes despite them not raising fares till Friday.

One commuter who decided to stay off cabs on Tuesday was Ms Shianna Tan, 28, shipping officer. She normally takes a taxi from her home in Aljunied to her workplace in Changi Industrial Park to work by 8.30am.

‘I used to take cabs by myself, then I tried to find someone to share a cab with me to save cost, but now I’ve just decided to stop taking taxis. It’s just too expensive,’ she said.

ComfortDelgro is the first among the six taxi companies to raise cab fares.

Flagdowns have gone up from $2.50 to $2.80 and the metered fares are up 20 cents for every 385m, compared to 10 cents for every 210m.

The city surcharge has also tripled from $1 to $3 between 5pm and midnight.

And peak hour premiums, which affect those heading to work in the morning and those heading home after office hours, is now 35 per cent of the metered fare compared to $2 flat fee.

SMRT, Premier, Trans-cab and Smart taxis will be raising their fares within the next two weeks. Prime taxis, the newest player in the industry, will be increasing only its city surcharge.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 18th December 2007



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