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1/02/2008

Demise of taxi drivers?

The recent huge increase in taxi fares could lead to a major restructuring of the trade. For the moment the hike may seem to be a non event with many celebrating their holidays and fresh with cash from their year end bonuses. Once the festivities are over, another round during Chinese New Year, the spending will be over. People will come to their senses and the last splurge of a sort during the festivities will be passe. Is it really affordable to spend $30 to $50 for a one way trip and a return trip doubling that amount? Anyone who can afford that will switch to private cars. Why spend so much when the difference between car ownership and taking taxi is no longer meaningful? When that thought sinks in, many taxi drivers will be crying for help. The current demand is likely to be their last bonus.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why you so like dat? Singaporeans are like dat. When things go up they just complain for a few days and then back to normal. This has been happening all the time and the taxi companies and even the government knows Singaporeans inside out. So don't worry lah! Things will go back to nornal soon as one MP doing the rounds has been saying so.

redbean said...

this one may not be that simple. it hurts the people's pockets. how many people can afford to pay $30 for a trip?

taxis will now be a luxury for those who earns $4k or $5k a month.unfortunately for the taxi drivers, those who earn this amount will probably opt to buy a car.

the only logical market will be rich tourists who think it is cheap compares to NY or London or Tokyo.

Anonymous said...

People will not feel the taxi pinch yet during the festive seasons are one-off affairs for most of them. It is the long term taxi users that have marginal transportation (by taxi) budget that will re-consider their position. Now, more people will use taxis for emergency purposes, rather than for day to day travel.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> The recent huge increase in taxi fares could lead to a
major restructuring of the trade. <


Bring it on. It's about time the inefficient got killed off, and some new standards implemented.

Change is inevitable, if the city state is to re-invent itself and move up a few notches.

To the Sheeple: get with the program.

redbean said...

So I heard in the news that the taxi drivers are crying for tolong. Imagine if they have raised the flag down fare to $10! It only shows how detached the decision makers are from the people at the bottom.

Not everyone is laughing all the way to the bank. And not everyone uses the taxis as a luxury. Many are dependent on the taxis as their only means of transport for their exceptional reasons.

The situation now is going to cause more hardship to a lot of people, not only the taxi drivers.

Anonymous said...

If they do not revert to the old system of charging, the taxi drivers will suffer.

If they revert to the old system of charging, what I fear is that if commuters continue to complain about lack of taxis in the CBD and taxi drivers still shunning fares and going for call bookings instead, the day will come for taxi companies to turn to the government to allow foreigners to drive taxis.

That will be the real demise of local taxi drivers.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> The situation now is going to cause more hardship to a lot of people, not only the taxi drivers. <


There are always two sides. In the beginning, some people will benefit. Overtime, if the thing is left alone, markets will adjust, everyone will "win" and life will simply go on.

> And not everyone uses the taxis as a luxury. Many are dependent on the taxis as their only means of transport for their exceptional reasons. <

People like myself. When I'm hopping around and in town itself, I use the MRT. At all other times I use cabs, and I usually call for one (I think queing is a waste of precious time). If I absolutely, positively cannot be late, I always book a limo well in advance.

So I'm one of those people who'll pay substantially more over the course of say, one month. But I still support the rise in fares.

People who think cabs are too expensive, have alternatives in taking buses and trains—they are not "left out". Drivers who think they can't "compete", are free to choose some other line of employment. The arguments which state "there are no jobs" is fallacious. There are tens of thousands of jobs in the services sectors.

redbean said...

i am really surprise that taxi drivers are taking the initiatives to go against the fare hike.

unbelieveable!

Anonymous said...

while we hear that there are taxi drivers being displeased with the fare hike, i've started to observe an increase in taxis parked away in hdb carparks as the drivers leisurely spend their time at home. They must have had earned enough.