Saturday, August 01, 2015

A messy taxi situation

Sometimes I wonder whether I should sympathize with taxi drivers. They now have reduced business due to the slow economic situation and greater competition from private cars operating under the Uber and Grab Taxi platforms.

However, when you want a taxi during the peak hours, you are not likely to find one on the road. The taxis appear to be in hiding and will only appear when you call them and pay the booking fee of $3.20 on top of peak hour surcharges.

As I could not walk due to a gout attack, I went to office by taxi this Saturday morning and paid $7 for a short trip. I did not book a taxi, so this is without the booking fee.

In the evening, I could not find any taxi. I was reluctant to book for a taxi and pay $10. In spite of pain in the foot, I walked to the bus stop and took a bus home.

If the taxi business continues to be bad, more taxi drivers will give up and may turn to Uber and Grab Taxi to operate a non-taxi service. With lower demand, the taxi companies will have to reduce the rental charges on their taxis.

My conclusion - there is no need to sympathize with taxi drivers who are now facing reduced demand. They have the choice to reduce their cost and provide a non-taxi service on the new platforms. Let the taxi companies reduce their rental.

Clearly, the taxi system in Singapore is in a mess and is messy. This shows the "free market approach" adopted by the government is short sighted, and has led to inefficiency, waste of resources and high operating cost.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like any profit organization, taxi driver has to maximize profit each day. I like public bus except when my old father must use taxi to hospital. I would chit chat with the taxi driver. Many of them are ex-boss or ex-executive. They are money minded like u and me. For those part-time driver, they earn extra income to support family. E.g, support disable relative. (i am ex-taxi driver)

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