So what is the surprise? Taxi ridership fell from 11.3 million rides in 2007 to 10.9 million in 2008. Taxi driver's income (those driving 10 hours a day) shrunk 6% to $2250 a month.
I used to take taxis everyday to work 5 years ago. But my taxi fare went up from $16 to $26 over the years! The last fare hikes in 2007 pushed me to take buses and the MRT.
The following postings from my blog:
So who wanted the fare increase? Recall that the cab drivers were against the fare increase which caused them to lose customers during the peak hours. There is now a deadweight loss as the capacity exceeds demand during these hours and many cabs lay idle during peak periods except on rainy days.
Goodbye taxi hello bus + MRT. I love taking taxis to work. They get me there fresh, ready and energetic. The buses and MRT packed like sardine cans drain my energy. However, I didn't have a choice but to switch because the hikes at the end of 2007 were hefty:
Current Rate.............................................New Rate
City Area Surcharge $1 peak hour to $3.00 (5pm till midnight, Mon to Sat)
Late Night Charge staggered 10% to 50%--------- 50% of metered fare (12am till 5:59am)
Peak Period Surcharge $2.00 ---------35% of metered fare (7am till 9:30am, 5pm till 8pm)
Flagged Down Fare $2.50 for first km ---------$2.80 for first km
Waiting time $0.10 every 25s ----- $0.20 every 45s
Distance Rate (<=10km) $0.10 every 210 m-------$0.20 every 385m from 2nd km till 10km
Distance Rate (>10km) $0.10 every 175 m ------$0.20 every 330m above 10km
Call Booking (prime time) $4.00 ------$3.50 (7am to 9:30am, 5pm to 11pm , weekdays)
Call Booking (other time) $2.50 ------$2.50
Singaporeans pay more for fewer taxi rides. Taxi drivers make less income. So who or what is doing better? Answer here.
Recently, LTA rejected the application to start another taxi company[Link]. But I think the solution is to cut out the unnecessary middle man who makes a hefty profit from taxi rentals.
The LTA eliminated independent privately owned taxis leading to almost full corporatisation of the taxi business. The end result is higher taxi fares and lower income for taxi drivers.
It is a case of high fares killing the goose that laid the golden
The Land Transport Authority should realise the current system is not
Privately owned taxis do not require a layer of management and
its associated costs. In fact, the idea of taking home all the fare spurs harder
work, as in any free enterprise. - Jack Chew's Forum Letter[Link]