Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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DisComfort over taxi fares – Delayed Article

 I held back this article as part of a little prank. Now the prank is over and the article is still of relevance, my editor’s pen has allowed this article to be published with the following addendum.

Recent increases in taxi fares have proven that the cab companies are pushing taxi drivers over the edge. if the cab companies truly wish that their cab drivers can have a decent living, they should be doing something about their daily cab rental rates.

Amidst the furore over the recent hikes in taxi fares, there were little whispers that they (cab companies) were not going to increase the cab rental again. 🙂  how true is this statement i won’t know. I will let history be the judge.

As to whether or not the cab companies are making too much money? 🙂 I will let the figures revealed below speak for themselves.

Once upon a time.

Taxi fares were only S$1.20 for flag down rate.

I remember this when i was young. My maths was not too good then but i could understand how my mother would always say to me and my brothers… “taking a cab when you have enough people sharing it makes sense” it did make sense, i did recall the most of the trips ended up with only S$2.50 to S$3.00 in fares.

Then came an insidious plan to raise cab fares. i realised then yellow top (private) cabs were still aplenty, and the number of NTUC cabs and SBS cabs plus a white yellow green cabs were slowly groding in number. I recall the government begin its long often quoted excuse of citing “because our cab fares still lag behind the the world’s major cities it is time we increase them.”

I remembered an increase of flag down fare to S$2.20.

Then all of a sudden, the taxi commuters revolted. People stopped taking taxis. Many people stopped taking taxis. The powers that be had no choice but to reduce the taxi flag down rate to S$1.60.

I recall that this was roughly in 1981-1982. A time when the Singaporean people had a bit more will. A time when the Singaporean had a bit more pride.

Coincidentally, 1981 saw the election of JB Jeyaretnam to the Anson Seat in the Anson By-election.

Coincidentally, in 1984 there was a re-election of Mr. JB Jeyaretnam to Anson and Mr Chiam See Tong to Potong Pasir in the 1984 General Election.

Taxi fares have creeped up after that without anybody realising or rather without anyone bothering enough to care.

My last understanding is that the flag down fair is S$2.40. As if this was not bad enough, this must be coupled with the peak hour charges, the ERP, the other possible charges which may spring up to surprise the unsuspecting commuter.

I had once travelled from my office to the subordinate courts during one of my lazy moods, i flagged down a cab.

A 4 minute ride probably for less than 1.2km set me back S$6.50! Now that shocked me.

i would have taken less than 15 mins to cover the distance on foot at a leisurely pace.

Today we see Comfort Delgro giving the excuse of having to need to recover the higher cost of Euro IV standard vehicles from the commuter.

New Hyundai Sonatas costing S$57,000 each.

Lets do the figures:

S$88 daily rental to S$98.

At $88 rental per day, the total amount of revenue produced by a cab for its 10 year lifespan would be: S$88 x 365 days  x 10 years = S$321,200/-

At $98 per day, it would be:

S$98 x 365 days x 10 years = S$357,700/-

This means that each vehicle would be producing more than 5 times of its cost of purchase 🙂

Now it is not so difficult to disbelieve Comfort Delgro when it says that it needs to increase public transport fares to be accountable to its shareholders is it not? 🙂 Money talks. The figures showing the amount of money going into certain pockets says even more. 🙂


December 19, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments