Sunday, January 06, 2008

So who wanted the taxi fare increase?

Just after taxi companies claim taxi drivers will be making more income with the latest hikes we start to see taxi drivers offering discounts.
"I used to make $130 during peak hours. Then the customers are scared off and I couldn't even make $10" -Taxi driver in the picture.
I'm sure taxi companies are so disappointed with Singaporeans not being able to accept the recent hikes. Such behavior undermines their profit growth and is not very good for Singapore Inc. I think the choice has come to being able to send your child to the doctor when he is sick vs taking that taxi. There is only so much you can squeeze from Singaporeans. The plan of the taxi companies (or rather Comfort) appears to be hike the fares first let the taxi drivers have it good for a short while then enhance its own profits by hiking the rent and cutting the diesel subsidy.
Taxi drivers don't want the latest fare hikes although taxi companies say it is to help them improve their income. Of course, the best way to help taxi drivers is to cut the high rents they are paying for taxis but somehow the taxi companies can't think of that idea.


Anonymous said...

I bet you're right, Lucky, ComfortDelgro is hiking fares first and if that works, it will then increase its rental to taxi drivers.

PAP is just pretending it cares for the livelihood of taxi drivers by increasing taxi fares.

There's no free market for taxi business. There used to be those yellow top private taxis but PAP imposed a regulation that only the taxi owner could renew his operating licence. Of course when those taxi owners passed away, so did those yellow tops from our roads.

That way, PAP through its various taxi companies can fix the taxi rental prices and taxi fares nationwide.

PAP is a control freak. It will consolidate and consolidate whatever lucrative businesses there are in the Singapore market.

For that matter, it is said that Temasek wants to buy over Sheng Siong, the supermart chain, which is threatening NTUC FairPrice big time.

Not a surprise to me as Temasek is constantly doing this, sending letters of proposal to very successful companies to take up share in them.

Once PAP has consolidated an industry enough, it will start fixing prices. This has already happened to the taxi business.

Gone are the days when taxi drivers can make a few K a month. Now they are just slaving for PAP, even when the top executives of ComfortDelgro takes home millions of $ in remuneration every year.

I am sure there is an anti-monopoly law but when it comes to PAP, it does not apply.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to PAP's cunning what is evolving in Singapore is a kind of modern feudal system.

Instead of owning lands as in the ancient feudal system, PAP's 'feudal lords' control the economy by owning and monopolising lucrative businesses: supermarkets, insurance, public transport, housing, commercial properties, telcos, banking (it even tried to take over OUB but failed), childcare, so forth.

These businesses started off as providing affordable essential services for the people but over time the fat-cat 'feudal lords' of PAP became so comfortable they do not care anymore whether people can afford their high prices that they are setting.

For instance, now HDB under the Mabok Tan is partnering with private developer into upmarket housing to built HDB condos costing 700K, even as it concentrates on building premium HDB flats that are priced so high as to keep them in debt for a lifetime.

This is similar to greedy feudal lords of yore who exorbitantly raised the price of land they loan to the peasants to farm.

fifthgraper thinker said...

Please do not exploit the weak and poor for your wealth.

My teacher also takes taxi say one.

Thank you.

Capt_Canuck said...

I saw this article as well, Lucky. However, you left out the part of the paper that makes it all right. There was an article below that with an actual quote saying "commuters are happy with the fare hike and availability of taxis" Apparently one person was asked and he said he was thrilled because he was able to get a cab in seconds during the busy xmas day rush hour traffic. So, if it is written in the paper it must be true. Commuters are happy for the fare increase.

Though there was an article out there once that said the taxi drivers were saying that they used to take many fares in one day and make about $120, but now with the fare increase they have less passengers but still make around $110 to $120. Guess this is a win-win situation across the board. Taxi drivers take less passengers which means less work yet make same money AND more taxis are available to give people rides so there isnt long waiting queues for a taxi.

No wonder commuters are happy for the fare hike.

Anonymous said...



LuckySingaporean said...


I'm also very happy with the fare increase. I'm happy that I get more exercise these days taking the MRT and I get to save a bundle too.

Merlot said...

singaporeans definitely need more exercise! In fact, we are such a small country I have a feeling the wonderful and caring government here are trying to drive us all to have no choice but to maybe walk to work someday.

See? THIS (cab fare hike) is already the first step. And we safely thought we could happily depend on other modes of public transport such as bus or MRTs. But think again, with every possible excuse, the govt are ensuring that these bus companies and train services increase the fares as well.

Pray tell, wouldnt it surely drive us all to have no choice but to walk to work or our destinations someday, because we may not be able to even afford the pricey public transportation here?

Whenever they implement a fare hike, they always compare our rates to those of overseas. But have these insightful, and knowledgable people realize that over here, in tiny SG, the distance that our trains, buses and even cabs cover, are in fact to much shorter than the routes of HK, UK, Japan etc etc that they so love comparing against?

Anonymous said...

Since the fare increase, every passengers I had met have nothing but good things to say about the improvement in services.

The cab drivers apparently smile more often. I wonder why.

yamizi said...

The new Hyundai model for Comfort Taxi commands a higher rental fee as compared to the old Toyata Crown already. Ain't sure the exact price but it is between a Crown and a Merz cab.

A Crown's current rental fee is around $92 a day I think (any cabbies out there can rectify me). So the rental for 30 days is more than $2700. Merz cab is more than a $100 (can't remember exact figure). These are the capital for a taxi driver to throw in monthly to earn their bread.

The rental fee is more than my salary lo. Sian. Haha.

Anonymous said...

the garmen knows that people,like little mice scurrying to its nearest hole, tend towards least resistance. as prices go up from one form of transport, people will scurry themselves to another cheaper form of transport. the shift will inevitably cause the crowd to build up. when there is sufficient crowd build up, the company will have to spend more money to ease human congestion. this will justify another fare hike to force the people back to taking cab again.

that's being part of the rat from one form of public transport before the next higher fare changes our direction to another form of public transport.

but i have decided to copy old china instead of being bounced here and there like a rat.

i shall expend human fuel on two wheelers.

Anonymous said...

I have just read the report. I find that the elites from the comfort cab are "pushing" away their responsibility for their foolish act:

“It is their (cabbies) PREROGATIVE to give DISCOUNTS to their CUSTOMERS should they desire."

Perhaps, should the demand for the taxi drops, it will persuade more cabbies will leave their jobs. In the long run, there is a high chance that people will find hard to get a cab again thus, the level of cab service dropped back to the previous level!!!
Has the problem solved? NO!!!

Hopefully, in a few more months’ time, the cab companies will begin to experience the pain. Isn’t it a cycle? A painful cycle?

Anonymous said...

I have just read the report. I find that the elites from the comfort cab are "pushing" away their responsibility for their foolish act:

“It is their (cabbies) PREROGATIVE to give DISCOUNTS to their CUSTOMERS should they desire."

Perhaps, should the demand for the taxi drops, it will persuade more cabbies will leave their jobs. In the long run, there is a high chance that people will find hard to get a cab again thus, the level of cab service dropped back to the previous level!!!
Has the problem solved? NO!!!

Hopefully, in a few more months’ time, the cab companies will begin to experience the pain. Isn’t it a cycle? A painful cycle?

Anonymous said...

They will compare taxi fares globally but not ministerial salaries. Of course cherry or peanut picking as usual. The other thing so predictable about their policy making...calibrate with $$$...if roads congested raise ERP, if demand for hospital beds increase, introduce means testing; if no one wants to be self and party serving MPs, raise ministerial and MP allowance;if no money can be spared to help the poor but can be spent in investing games, raise GST...

majulah said...

If Temasek owns all the important businesses, we by extension own them as they have been bought with taxpayers' money.

But we don't have a say in running these companies or the prices they charge us!

The only ones who make out like bandits are those highly qualified ministers and bureaucrats.

Merlot said...

I really have to applaud the intelligence, insight and consideration of our govt... I believe that alot of the cabbies in SG became cabbies because they are retrenched, or couldnt find another more more fitting job, therefore resort to cabbing for their rice bowl. And yet even this, the govt is trying to rob from them.

Anonymous said...

Latest news on the Straits Times: This guy has flouted the rules by giving discount.

Chiak lat! This cannot, that also cannot... sigh...

Anonymous said...

It is chiak lat alright. Can't Delgro be taken to task for such anti-competitive behavior? It smacks of bullying tactics - it is clear not many people supports Delgro.

Anonymous said...

LTA ganged up with the taxi companies, trying to fix the price. Isn’t this a free market? Why are they practicing price fixing?
The only reason I can think of is, if the situation turn out to be good, the cab companies will want to increase their taxi rental fee. This is the only way to fine excuses to raise rental.

Anonymous said...

our superb straits times (08/01/08) has masterfully change the taxi rental fees with a masterstroke. dear taxi drivers out there, listen up, your monthly rental fee ranges from $70-$125. yup u got that right. read, monthly, not daily. it must be true since this nugget of info came from a credible, world class newspaper.

Anonymous said...

what so difficult?costs all gone up because our clever leaders, one in particular, have helped to unleash billions of hungry mouths for the same resources such as oil and now, you just need to pay more for everything lor.

very clever way of solving our economic problems and raising their pay many times over the common man somemore

Anonymous said...

Temasek's SIA's bid for China Eastern Airline stake has been rebuffed, the news reported today.

Even if Temasek were to succeed in this bid, it will not benefit Singaporeans at all. This is because according to a PAP's press release during the Shin Corp saga, Temasek is run LIKE a private company.

"LIKE" can only be construed as saying it broaches no interference from the people, and neither will its profitability has anything to do with the people.

But what if is loses money? Ah that's a different question.

At the end of the day I like what a friend once remarked to me when we discussed whose money went into the failed Suzhou Industrial Park.

He said: "It's like that loh. If it is a failure, then it is the people's money, if it succeeds, then it is someone's private money."

'Head I win, tail you lose' kind of thing.

Anway, how are our national reserves (which is actually in large part made up of CPF savings) transfered to Temasek for its many gobal investments?

As far as CPF savings are concerned, PAP says that it involves CPF Board buying Singapore govt bonds with CPF savings. The money goes into MOF or GIC, then somehow gets transferred to Temasek.

What kind of interest does Temasek pays the government for that loan and what kind of returns is the government getting, given Temasek's many big losses?

Well for that, the late President Ong had let the cat out of the bag.

According to him there was a big accounting problem with our national reserves! MOF could not give him a report and told him it would take 200 years to get it out and it would have to factor in the value of all state land.

So where is the money? Money loaned out to Temasek surely can be accounted for. No?

This I believe is the reason Lee Hsien Loong had to hold 2 posts : PM and Minister for Finance for many years.

Surely you will agree it is great way to help the country by keeping that mess under wraps and who is better positioned than himself to do it?

Hey, imagine what will happen to the Singapore currency and the value of your properties and spending power if anything less than picture perfect is presented to the world. So picture perfect it should be, mah.

Now Minister Tharman obviously looks reliable and of course obedient to the boss enough to take over the reins and keep things under control and under wraps at all times.

But then some PAP supporters say, "Hey you critics don't be so dependent on the government; be self-reliant".

Sure, whose money is it PAP is using to squander around the world including propping the failing banks of first world countries now ... first world countries where people live in big bungalows and mansions bought with subprime credit terms.

Now when they are in trouble, GIC and Temasek quickly use our national reserves proper and personal CPF savings of Singaporeans - who by the way can only afford to live in small HDB flats - to help them.

You see mammoth countries like EU and US somehow lack investors who are wealthy and smart enough like GIC and Temasek to see such a golden opportunity.

Is'nt this great?

But Temasek and GIC are going to make money from all these investments, cry the supporters of PAP again.

Forget about that. It would not beneft the ordinary people a wee bit even if they do.

Just return us the money at the age you promised us as the custodian and bank of our personal life savings.

Anway, how can GIC and Temasek not go to the aid of the rich nations when Mr Harry Lee has written autobiographies extolling his superhuman achievements including one with a title that reads "From Third World to First : The Singapore Story".

Such a superhuman, grandiose public image risked being shattered should GIC and Temasek fail to show how well-funded and comfortable they are in times of fiancial crisis of the rich nations. Must help lah.

Furthermore, we must remember PAP had submitted reports to international agencies like the UN and IMF that this extremely successful country called Singapore has some of the largest per capita national reserves in the world.

Of course, don't ask if whether those national reserves include the people's own hard-earned CPF life savings.

If some Singaporeans themselves do not know and refuse to know about this fact, why should other people know?

Everything is perfect thanks to PAP. Only make-believe perfect.

Anonymous said...

I believe the late President Ong Teng Cheong really stumbled onto something big and ugly, so much so that he had to be forcibly removed. Now the questions about the assets of Temasek and GIC still remains unanswered. Perhaps that is the reason why they need to have an Indian President and an Indian Finance Minister. They need dark people to keep dark secrets and keep Singaporeans in the dark. Not that they have to though. Who can question the immortal one?

Anonymous said...

If Temasek earns profit who benefit? There is only one family in singapore will have all the gain.

That woman is f*&^*& stupid to invest into Thai's share and end up into corruption case... Who's money is that?? Ours !! Where is it from?? CPF? INcrease every thing... DAMN lo... They enjoy the suffering of the citizen.

Like the CDAC ... we are forced to contribute monthly but when it comes to enrolling of their course .. you cant cos they said you have exceed the salary limit .. WHAT THE!!!

Anonymous said...

"They need dark people to keep dark secrets and keep Singaporeans in the dark."



Anonymous said...

State Times:


Even in death or close to death, they still want to extract money from you!lol.

2)Do you see foreign worker?

You may end up like the samsui woman? lol

(no disrespect to the samsui woman=)))

Anonymous said...

Bless their hearts and souls. These are the hardest working women who bruised their hands and backs under the scorching sun for a few bowls of porridge whilst those who hold pens lived in luxury and comfort and then proceeded to claim all the glory for building this nation.

This is one of humanity greatest acts of exploitation and injustices.

A legacy of shame of the nation etched in the faces of these long suffering women that cannot be repaid...anymore.

Anonymous said...

For all the hard work of the samsui women, married to their jobs, toiling in the sun, no husbands, no children the govt is giving them $260 per month in their retirement age for their sacrifices. How benevolent, Mr Vivian and Mr Khaw Boon Wan.

Anonymous said...

I read with interest in the news that in japan people are suing the airport or air-force for creating too noise in the living environment.

Just wondering if anyone out there is a light-sleeper and is easily awakened by the disel engines of the so many taxis on our streets? Is there any chance the taxi companies should compensate for chunking in so much profits at the expense of the health of the people and serenity of the environment?