Friendly Chinese taxi driver speaks fluent Hindi after learning from passengers for 10 years http://bit.ly/2h6cCHn
Originally posted by FireIce:
Got one pakistan TD can speak fluent Tagalog also.
ComfortDelGro Taxi sets up hardship fund to assist cabbies in need
ComfortDelGro cabbies facing financial hardship will soon be able to seek help directly from the company from a fund to be launched on Christmas Day this Sunday (Dec 25).
On Sunday (Dec 25), ComfortDelGro Taxi will donate 50 cents for every completed booking job on Sunday (Dec 25). It expects to raise at least $50,000through this and plans to explore other fundraising activities in future.
Called the Cabby Hardship Fund, it will offer financial aid to ComfortDelGro Taxi cabbies and their immediate family members in the event of death, total and permanent incapacity, as well as serious chronic medical conditions. It is the company's first such fund.
A committee, managed by the company's management staff and taxi driver representatives, will assess requests for aid and disburse funds on a case-by-case basis.
Cab drivers can send their requests to the company's driver relations officers, either in writing or in person.
Said the company's chief executive officer Yang Ban Seng: "Our cabbies are our valued partners, and their welfare is our priority. There are instances in which they need a helping hand to tide them over financial difficulties as a result of sudden losses or unexpected medical conditions. That is the purpose of the Cabby Hardship Fund."
Sisters allegedly forced to get out off taxi in the middle of the night for telling cabby not to speed
A woman took to Facebook to vent her frustrations about a cabby whom she alleges told her and her sister to get out of the taxi after they told him not to speed.
The woman, Huan Lin Oh, made a lengthy Facebook post about the incident, which she said happened at 2.24am today (Dec 25).
The woman and her sister had boarded the Transcab taxi at Clarke Quay, after which the cabby was allegedly speeding at 130km/h at the Kampong Java Tunnel.
The two women repeatedly told him to slow down, and even told him they were not in a rush.
But they allege that the cabby simply kept asking them how slow they wanted to go, and that he was in a rush.
Huan Lin Oh als o said that the cabby then suddenly hit the brakes and went to the left side of the CTE with the intention of dropping them off there.
The taxi driver made them get off at a bus stop in Jalan Bahagia and expected them to pay the fine, said Huan Lin Oh.
The sisters, not knowing what else to do, paid for the fare in cash and got down to take another taxi.
They were able to take a photo of the taxi driver's nameplate, but did get photos of the cab's licence plate number.
They also realised they had paid an additional $5 'location' charge, even though they did not board the cab at the airport or city areas.
The taxi driver of the subsequent cab they boarded told them that they might face difficulties as "Transcab is known for not handling complaints well."
The sisters were unable to lodge a complaint as Transcab's lines were only open from Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6pm.
Taxi driver jailed for causing pedestrian's death at Serangoon North Ave 3
The Straits Times
Dec 24, 2016
He knew there were still pedestrians crossing the road and the lights were in their favour.
But Go Soon Heng, 54, moved his taxi forward, hitting Ms Tan Leh Ai, 39. She suffered extensive head injuries and died the next day.
Yesterday, Go was jailed for three weeks and disqualified from driving for five years after pleading guilty to causing death by a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide.
The accident happened while he was driving his SMRT taxi with a 23-year-old female passenger along Serangoon North Avenue 3 at about 10.10pm on March 25.
The light was green in his favour for a right turn into Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3. However, there were three pedestrians, including Ms Tan, crossing the road from his right as the light was green in their favour. This meant he was required to give way to them.
A 27-year-old motorcyclist, who was waiting at the junction, said the taxi was turning at a relatively fast speed, but Go said he was doing 15- 20kmh.
The motorcyclist and Go's passenger did not hear the sound of brakes being applied before the taxi hit Ms Tan. She sustained multiple fractures to her skull. She also had bleeding and swelling of the brain, and died the next morning.
Under traffic rules, Go should have given way to Ms Tan at the signalised pedestrian crossing.
The maximum penalty for causing the death of a person by a negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide is two years' jail and a fine.
Glitch affects cabbies' cashless payment and booking system
A technical glitch affecting the terminal systems of about 100 ComfortDelGro taxis resulted in cabbies being unable to take bookings or accept cashless payments yesterday.
Taxi drivers from Singapore's biggest cab operator told The Straits Times that they were unable to log in to their mobile data terminals in the morning and early afternoon. The outage lasted as long as nine hours for some cabbies.
The terminals are used by cabbies to receive passenger bookings and messages from their company and to process cashless payments such as credit cards and Nets.
When asked, ComfortDelGro confirmed that there had been "intermittent log-in issues" with the mobile data terminals of about 100 of its taxis.
ComfortDelGro has a fleet of more than 16,700 cabs under its Comfort and CityCab brands.
Group corporate communications officer Tammy Tan said: "Taxi booking services were not affected, as close to 40,000 booking jobs were catered for during that time, but some passengers had trouble paying by cashless modes."
Ms Tan added that the problem had since been rectified.
Cabbies said they had to turn down customers' requests to pay by card, and asked them to use cash instead.
Maxi Cab driver Henry Tay, 48, said: "I was scolded by a few passengers as they thought I was giving excuses and didn't want to accept cashless payment."
Ms Ruby Chan, 43, who drives a Hyundai i-40, said that because she was unable to log in to her terminal, she could not take any booking jobs. She usually gets between two and five such jobs each day.
"But I was lucky that I could make up the shortfall by picking up passengers on the street," she said.
ComfortDelGro upgraded more than 6,000 mobile data terminals in its taxi fleet between April 2015 and early last year.
The new terminals feature a user-friendly interface as well as boast more processing power, to allow cabbies to receive and confirm booking jobs more quickly, the company said then.A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2017, with the headline 'Glitch affects cabbies' cashless payment and booking system'.
Biscuits, mobile cables and even free 'live concert': Here's what you'll get when you board their taxis
The Straits Times
8 January 2016
If your mobile phone charging cable is broken while you are out and about, ask your taxi driver for a spare. If he happens to be Mr Ong Swee Ker, 62, you could even keep the cable.
Once, a passenger realised her cable was broken on the way to the airport and he gave her one for free.
He had the idea to keep spare cables in his cab after a passenger borrowed his for a quick recharge.
Besides keeping eight mobile cables in his taxi - four each for iPhone and Android - he also has a massive arsenal of supplies: biscuits, lozenges, toothpicks, earbuds, plasters, bottled water, preserved plums, medicated oil, picnic supplies, face masks, red packets and umbrellas.
He tells The Sunday Times in Mandarin: "When I was a driver at the Singapore Youth Olympic Games, I learnt about good service and how to value-add. Then I continued to do so.
"I always want to upgrade my services," he says, referring to the Wi-Fi hotspot and charging ports he added to his vehicle two years ago.
Since he started to provide these extra goodies in 2010, he has given out more than 30 umbrellas and more than 20 bottles of medicated oil. On average, he spends about $5 a day replenishing his stocks.
His devotion to good service has paid off. The father of two children, aged 33 and 21, who has been driving with ComfortDelgro since 2008, has bagged seven awards, including three Excellent Service Awards from Spring Singapore.
He is among taxi drivers who go the extra mile for passengers. There are those who fly under the radar, but most super-cabbies are recognised with tourism or service awards.
Another such taxi driver, SMRT's Yap Eng Meng, 47, has received more than 20 written compliments and nine awards, including the National Kindness Award.
He provides recommendations and weather information for tourists or route information for locals.
"I'm a hybrid taxi driver - a problem solver, an itinerary planner, an entertainer and an educator," says Mr Yap, who is married and has no children.
Some private transport drivers are also pulling out all the stops for a smooth, enjoyable ride, although none have been known to include a friendly puppy for companionship, like an American driver did in a video circulated on social media.
Sometimes there is an incentive for them to do so. Ride-hailing companies Uber and Grab encourage riders to rate drivers using a five-star system and the top drivers are entitled to special perks and rebates.
There are more than 50,000 registered Grab drivers.
"There is a Platinum Programme where top GrabCar drivers enjoy benefits such as a fuel discount of 25 per cent and an additional $250 bonus a month," says Mr Lim Kell Jay, head of Grab Singapore.
GrabCar is a private transport option that allows passengers to book a chauffeured ride for a pre-arranged fee.
Uber, which has "tens of thousands" of registered drivers, has a #6Star Award, where drivers with ratings above 4.65 stand a chance to win $800. One of them is Mr Patrick Koh, 43, who has a rating of 4.86 stars since joining Uber in March last year. He perfumes his car with lemongrass "to calm down nasty passengers" while providing complimentary bottles of water, candy, wet tissues, medicated oil and a phone charger.
"If it puts a smile on my passengers' faces, it makes my day. It's also just my attitude to work - I must always give my best," says Mr Koh. He is married with two children and runs an English-learning portal for Chinese speakers.
One night, he was driving four passengers when one of them looked pale and said he felt giddy.
"I suspected he had a low blood sugar level so I offered him a sweet. A few minutes later, he thanked me and said he suddenly felt so much better," he says.
He does not mind spending about $50 a month on the extras because "if I'm calculative, I will never enjoy what I do".
Meanwhile, part-time GrabHitch driver and full-time IT manager Darryl Xu, 38, has a Wi-Fi hotspot in his car and his phone is loaded with music-streaming app Spotify. He also provides bottles of water.
His passengers are welcome to choose their music or take the water, but most decline.
"Most are appreciative, but some are cautious. I don't blame them," says Mr Xu, a five-star-rated driver.
Mr Koh chalks this down to the fact that Singaporeans may feel "paiseh" (Hokkien for shy or embarrassed), especially when some trips cost as little as $3.
But there are those who take these gestures for granted.
He says: "I used to provide free chocolates, but people would leave the wrappers in the car and that's just unpleasant for the next passenger."
He offers cushions and a listening ear
Long before he became a part-time Uber driver, Mr Syed Muhammad Abu Bakar, 40, was already giving rides to strangers.
Working as a youth coach and co-founder at The Green Apple project - a youth mentorship company which he founded with his wife in 2012 - required him to drive to and from schools.
"When I saw certain people at the bus stops near the schools, I would sometimes stop and offer them a lift," says the father of three boys aged 15, 12 and nine.
"It could be old people who have difficulty walking, heavily pregnant women or students with their mothers when it's raining - most would accept my offer," he says.
For additional income, he signed up as an Uber driver in September last year.
He provides extra amenities for his passengers in the form of two smiley cushions, charging ports and, sometimes, a listening ear.
Once, a Caucasian man in his 30s opened up about some personal problems during a car ride.
"In the end, he shook my hand a lot of times and thanked me, saying he felt so much better. I felt really good too," Mr Syed says. "I'm a service guy and I also believe that if you give more, you get more.
More cabbies leaving the job amid stiff competition
More cabbies are throwing in the towel and exiting the taxi trade, underscoring the stiff competition they are facing from private-hire services like Uber and Grab.
Land Transport Authority data revealed that in the first 11 months of last year, the average rate of taxis that were unhired was 5.9 per cent, up from 4.2 per cent in 2015.
More than 1,620 taxis are now sitting idle in the yards of taxi companies, up from 1,190. This, even as the total fleet of taxis in Singapore has shrunk, from 28,300 at the end of 2015 to 27,500 currently.
The rise in the number of unhired taxis has prompted a second operator to slash rentals. Premier, with over 1,900 cabs, has cut its net rentals to mostly below $100 a day, a spokesman told The Straits Times.
In doing so, it follows in the footsteps of Trans-Cab, the second biggest operator here with 4,500 taxis, which has cut rental fees by between 22 per cent and 34 per cent for drivers hiring without a relief.
A Premier taxi driver, who did not want to be named, said he signed an incentive scheme starting last week that will allow him to earn incentives of $300 a month, as well as a $1,000 bonus if he completes a six-month-long contract.
Premier said it is offering such schemes to "support our drivers whose incomes have been affected by the sudden surge in the supply of taxis in the form of private-hire vehicles". Its rate of unhired taxis was "consistent" with the competition. Trans-Cab said last month that 11 per cent of its cabs were not hired out.
ComfortDelGro, Singapore's largest operator with over 16,700 taxis, did not respond when asked if it would be adjusting its rental rates.
The job of a taxi driver has become increasingly unattractive since Uber and Grab entered the market in 2013, say observers and drivers.
With no cap on private-hire vehicles allowed to roam the roads, the number of "taxi-like services" has boomed, said Dr Park Byung Joon, a transport expert at SIM University. "This has created a negative impact on the income potential, and becoming a taxi driver is less attractive."
There are about 25,000 Uber and Grab cars here. While private-hire operators also have unhired cars - nearly 1,000 as The Sunday Times reported yesterday - this is a matter of the market needing to reach equilibrium point, said Dr Park.
The challenge for taxi companies is more fundamental, he noted, adding that the authorities need to rethink what a "taxi" is. In its traditional form, taxis cannot compete with Uber-type businesses permitted to operate in Singapore, he said.
Meanwhile, taxi drivers said they are thinking of switching firms. Comfort cabby K.Y. Yuen, 40, who pays a daily rent of $110, said: "I'm hoping Comfort will cut the rental in time. If nothing happens after one or two months, I will jump to another firm."
He said his earnings are down by 20 per cent, especially at night when passengers want to avoid taxis' midnight surcharge.A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2017, with the headline 'More cabbies leaving the job amid stiff competition'.
Good for the existing taxis who survived the onslaught, today took 3 younger paxs at different location, asked them why never use Phv, they said, sometime, must support taxi uncle like you mah, read the news, taxis driving not earning much, if you all throw key, Phv will surge….
...so at time, the news do help, at least these few youngsters understood what is demand and supply in economic.Edited by bowah 19 Jan `17, 1:46PM
SMRT taxi consumed by intense fire which melted its glass at Woodlands Avenue 6
Stomper Andrew and TheCrusader8 alerted Stomp to an SMRT taxi which caught on fire at around 5.30pm today (Jan 18) along Woodlands Avenue 6.
Andrew spotted the fire from a carpark across the road while TheCrusader8 saw it from a distance further and thought it was a fogging of mosquitoes.
However, as he moved closer, he discovered how wrong he was.
He said, "People were taking photos and the fire was so huge that the glass melted off the taxi."
A photo of the blazing vehicle has also been circulating on WhatsApp.
Singapore Civil Defence Force has confirmed that they were alerted to the incident at 5.52pm and the fire involved a compartment in an SMRT taxi.
The fire was extinguished by a water jet and two compressed air foam backpack.
No one was reported injured.