The last taxi company – Prime Taxis, are going to raise their flag down rates soon, if a unanimous agreement is reached in a vote next week. Drivers of Prime Taxis have seen a decline in earnings after the other taxi companies rose their flag down rates in December – effectively creating a knee-jerk reaction that got many customers off taxis for quite a while.

However, from recent reportings and survey, this down trend seems to be improving as taxi drivers are beginning to see a gradual increase in their passengers as well as earnings. This reinforced the fact that Singaporeans are indeed very supportive of the taxi drivers and are beginning to resume taking taxis as they used to.

As the LTA and other parties had mentioned previously, the sudden drop in customers may be a knee-jerk reaction. At the end of the day, if a person has to take a cab, he will. After all, it’s a trade off between time and money and time isn’t something that someone can buy. In such instances, it is better for a person to just take a cab to save some time.

THE lone Singapore taxi company to decide against raising its fares last month could soon reverse that decision.

Drivers from Prime Taxis, the island’s smallest cab firm, will vote next Tuesday on whether to raise flag down fares and after-hours rates, said managing director Neo Nam Heng.

The company’s 100 cabbies saw their take-home pay drop 50 per cent after five of Singapore’s six companies raised fares in December, a move that drove many commuters away from taxis.

‘For the first two weeks, there was a fall in their income because people saw the other companies increase price and stopped taking cabs,’ said Mr Neo.

The situation, though, has improved recently.

Drivers are seeing their income inch back up to the pre-hike rate of $100 to $120 a day, said Mr Neo.

It has been a roller coaster ride for Singapore’s taxi companies, some of whom, like Prime Taxis, are starting to see business rebound.

Divers from the island’s biggest firm, Comfort DelGo, have seen their take-home pay creep upwards over the last few weeks.

The average ComfortDelGro cabbie earned $159 per shift, up from $153 before the fare increase, according to a company survey of 5,000 drivers.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 25th January 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. Vandalin | January 26th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    gradual increase eh?. it’s called lan lan suck thumb.

  2. saintmoron | January 26th, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Did not expect any taxi company to go against the ‘flow’.Also do not think any will ‘be allowed to’.

  3. DK | January 27th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    OMG. You mean Prime haven’t increase their fare yet? I thought all increase already.

    OK, will take more Prime taxi. Or rather, will just wait for Prime Taxi. haha

  4. spyer | January 27th, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    When ComfortDelGro proposed the new taxi hikes, ComfortDelGro “encouraged” other taxi companies to follow suit. Now, CDG is playing “big brother” here. So, smallest brother has no choice but follows what “big brother” said.

    So much for free market, just a load of horse shit.

  5. Simply Jean | January 28th, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    @Vandalin: No lah… it’s not gradual.. they tried to be… fair to the passengers =)

    @saintmoron: well, if “going against the flow” meant not raising fares… they did. Just that now they can’t survive any more

    @DK: too late le…

    @spyer: hmm… actually I did a thorough check. ComfortDelgro didn’t encouraqe the other taxi drivers. The taxi operators association did. Not too sure if there’s a difference anyway.

  6. spyer | January 29th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Hmmm … that may be quite right. But, the association also has CDG as a member. Well, as a member that has the largest fleet, you have the majority. The encouragement can be infered.

    http://www.toa.sg/faq.htm

  7. alex law | January 31st, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    i took prime cab before… the driver told mi that… alot of aunts.. saw their cab.. pink in colour..at taxi stand.. they rather take the cab behind… mistaken tat it was another type of london cab.. or some aunt jus don like pink as compared to ususal blue and yellow cab…

    it realli affect their income alot…

    fair comment…

  8. Chew Adrian | April 1st, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Ya, all the above said are correct, I am a prime taxi driver, I suffered lots of income lost. As to the taxi stand incident, it can’t help much with the comfort uncles telling their passengers that our flag down fare is $8-00! Many passengers was astonished to see our meter rate! Some of them then told us that the comfort uncles misled them with our rates. Sign! The compressor breakdown in Jurong Island( our main and only
    gas station on the eve of the new year) hurts us the most. Come on ppl, help keep the earth green by traveling in our CNG taxi, it’s a smoother ride anyway! Right?

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