Rants and raves about stuff happening in and around my life in Singapore

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Disappearing Taxi

12:15 PM By Barry Smyth , No comments

Getting a taxi in Singapore use to be easier despite the fact that there is now some 20,000+ taxi's on the streets. The problem is that when it rains (which it's apt to do now and again) they all seem to magically dissolve and disappear. And lets not talk about between the hours of 11pm and 12am when they seem to turn completely invisible or just totally ignore you while they wait for the midnight charge to kick in. Yes, you can be sure that When you need a taxi most in Singapore there's never one around.

The cost of taxi's has spiraled out of control as well. For example if you call a taxi in the morning that’s $4 extra, plus $1 CBD charge, plus $1 peak period charge, plus ERP $2 plus a minimum $2.40 before you even go anywhere. So before you've even started your journey the cost is $10+, totally crazy pricing!.

Of course many taxi drivers bemoan the fact that its hard to make a living driving a taxi in Singapore, after all the sun does shine more often than not (incidentally from the $10 above approximately $7.30 of that goes to the taxi driver). Which if you think about it probably explains why they sometimes pick and choose their passengers. Although why they all seem to change shifts at 5pm when people are just starting to finish work is totally beyond me.

And lets face it with pricing as it is the cab companies are not exactly encouraging people to make use of their services. That could be why fewer people want to drive taxi's and why certain cab companies have a surplus gathering rust.

On the plus side the public transport system in Singapore is excellent and getting better, so its only a matter of time before taxi's disappear altogether.

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