Today is the first day of the taxi fuel surcharge kicking in and according to preliminary reports, commuters are sticking with taxi drivers through thick and thin – although some are concerned if the surcharge will start going up in the future. Cabby Ken Chian mentioned that some commuters sounded quite resigned but I guess that’s quite natural. Apparently, most commuters said that they understand the predicament that the taxi drivers are in and are most willing to pay the additional 30 cents.

Ironically, the prices of fuel, including diesel, went down today as the price of crude oil went below US$140. On the other hand, CNG prices have been going up steadily. In February 2008, the price difference between CNG and petrol is 70 cents per litre. Today, it’s merely 30 cents per litre – costing about 40% more than in February.

It seems like CNG doesn’t quite live up to its name that some have given – Cheap n’ Good.

Commuters stick to cabs on Day 1 of fuel surcharge

By Yeo Ghim Lay

A NEW, 30-cent fuel charge levied by Singapore’s biggest cab company does not seem to have turned commuters off taxis.

The surcharge, imposed on the back of rising diesel prices, came into effect yesterday on all of ComfortDelGro’s cabs. Its drivers told The Straits Times that the increase has not hurt business.

Cabby Ken Chian, 39, said that while some passengers asked about the extra 30 cents, there were no complaints. ‘A few sounded quite resigned and said they don’t have a choice,’ said Mr Chian.

Diesel prices have jumped by more than 50 per cent in the last six months, putting pressure on cabbies and bus operators.

Commuters said they understand the predicament taxi drivers are in, and most did not mind paying the extra 30 cents.

Mr Devdutt Sridharan, 23, an air force pilot, said: ‘It’s a reasonable increase, especially with the rise in oil prices these days.’

Some commuters, however, were concerned that they would have to pay more in the future.

Source: Straits Times Interactive,

And pump prices doing down…

Pump prices down after crude oil tumbles

By Christopher Tan, Senior Correspondent

PUMP prices fell on Thursday after crude oil tumbled below US$140 a barrel on Tuesday.

Petrol rates dropped by four cents a litre while diesel slid by two – just a week after the first reduction in 18 months.

A litre of 92, 95 and 98-octane petrol now costs $2.173, $2.206 and $2.28 before discount. So-called ultra-premium grades, Shells’ V-Power and Caltex’s Platinum, are now $2.399 and $2.396 respectively.

Diesel is $2.013.

The lower rates followed swiftly the plunge in crude prices, when news broke early this week that the US had larger oil reserves than expected.

Industry watchers noted that pump prices seem to be moving more closely in tandem with oil prices in recent months.

Consumers Association of Singapore executive director Seah Seng Choon said: ‘Consumers will welcome such quick response on the part of the oil companies. We believe oil companies are able to adjust pump price promptly and the latest move shows that such action is possible.’

Compressed natural gas (CNG) prices, meanwhile, have been rising sharply. They are now over 40 per cent costlier than six months ago.

With this, the gap between CNG and petrol has narrowed considerably.

Today, a kilogram of CNG is about 35 cents cheaper than a litre of petrol. The difference was 70 cents as recently in February.

Source: Straits Times Interactive,

Article extracted on 17th July 2008

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