The taxi industry is in trouble. According to a recent report, the taxi population is the lowest it’s been in eight years. In fact, the taxi population has fallen every year since 2014, the year after Uber and Grab appeared on the scene.
Everyone knows Grab and Uber are the chief culprits, which has led directly or indirectly to calls to regulate car share services. Everything from requiring car share drivers to get a vocational licence to, most recently, imposing a miminum age on Grab and Uber drivershas been suggested.
But even if the Grab and Uber car supply gets drastically restricted, that doesn’t mean the taxi industry will ever see it’s pre-2014 heydays. The transport industry has been evolving over the years and is a far cry from what it used to be. Here are six other reasons taxi numbers have fallen.
Singaporeans have taken to PMDs such as kick scooters like fish to water, as a way of finding an alternative to paying for an expensive COE while avoiding long waits for buses and MRT breakdowns.
And the LTA, probably sensing that getting more Singaporeans into cycling and PMDs is a good way to reduce the number of complaints about MRT breakdowns, plans to install more bicycle parking spaces and has already extended indefinitely the scheme allowing foldable bikes and PMDs on public transport.
The future of bike-sharing looks bright. Despite some earlier hiccups, bike-sharing operators have been setting up stations in various neighbourhoods in Singapore.
Like PMD users, many bike sharing users use this mode of transport to get themselves to the nearest MRT station—a trip that no doubt some used to make by taxi, especially in areas with unreliable bus services.
The LTA intends to triple the number of people in Singapore using cycling as part of their daily commute, which will do the taxi industry no favours.
Remember the days when the MRT network consisted only of the red and green lines? Back then, relying on a combination of feeder buses and the MRT could take so long, people often had no choice but to hob into a cab in order to not have to spend their remaining years on public transport.
The MRT network today has grown considerably over the years, and will continue to do so in the next few years. With more people living within walking distance of an MRT station, that also means that fewer people would actually save time by taking a taxi.
While the typical Singapore workplace is still far from flexible, many public sector employees now enjoy staggered hours. You also hear now and then of young people working in start-ups who get to work remotely or enjoy flexi hours. Then there’s the growing number of freelancers and gig workers who don’t need to show up at the office at 9am.
That also means fewer people will be faced with the urgency of having to rush to work in a cab because they woke up late.
Think it’s tough taking the MRT? Try doing so with a screaming kid clutching at your ankles. While a car tends to be regarded as a necessity for families with young children or elderly people, those who can’t afford one usually end up taking a cab.
Now that our birth rate has fallen to such a spectacularly low level, family sizes are much smaller than before, and more couples are not having children at all. That means the number of families who take taxis because it’s hard to handle their kids might fall, too.
Despite the wake-up call that car share services have delivered to taxi drivers, cab shortages continue to be a big problem. You STILL get rejected by multiple cabs who all claim they’re “changing shift”.
If you need to wait one hour to get a cab home after work, there is little reason not to just take the MRT—or order a Grab or Uber.
Take a look at the reasons above. Most of them are actually positive for society at large. More people cycling and a more comprehensive MRT network can take pressure off the roads and ease traffic congestion, not to mention offer Singaporeans a cheaper and faster way to get around.
we have 5 or6 taxi companies but let one non-taxi company using technology to control the whole transport industrial?? humm it time for all the taxi companies to come out the same things and bring back customers. actually what comfort new apps are doing is one of the way all the taxi companies should do. try to merge public transport system and allow people freely transfer from one kind of transport to another.
in singapore we still need uber as Grab is grabing too much in the market. Also if LTA can open up the yellow top taxi market, it will be a big game changers here.
this is what competition is about
ComfortDelgro introduces Alipay option for its taxis http://str.sg/4rqb
Amid signs of rising competition, Grab has sent out a message to ComfortDelGro cabbies offering significant rental discounts to those willing to switch to a rival taxi fleet that partners the ride sharing company.
The move comes two weeks after ComfortDelgro, Singapore's largest taxi operator with nearly 16,000 taxis under its Comfort and CityCab brands, announced that it was exploring a "potential strategic alliance" with Uber.
ComfortDelGro has not joined Grab's ride hailing platform, while other taxi operators like TransCab, Prime, SMRT, and Premier have done so.
A Grab spokesperson confirmed on Monday (Sept 4) that a text message had been sent out to ComfortDelGro taxi drivers on Sunday night (Sept 3).
The message read: “Dear Comfort Cabbie, huge rental discount deals from Sept 4 to 15.
"S$50 rental discount per day, if you switch your taxi rental over to any of our taxi-fleet partners (TransCab, Prime, SMRT, Premier). No targets. No questions asked."
The S$50 discount is about 40 per cent off the average S$118 per day rental that ComfortDelGro taxi drivers pay for models like the Hyundai Elantra and the Toyota Vios.
The message from Grab also offered a “S$1688 rental discount per month” if drivers switched over to a private-hire car at GrabRentals or Grab’s exclusive fleet partners. The drivers, however, have to hit a target of 20 trips per week to qualify for this incentive.
who going over?
Uber Is Enemy Of Taxi Companies. Uber Provide Taxi services on cash and its also costly but in my opnion mostly taxi companies are cheap and use credit card taxi. thats the main reason people like still taxi services.
Part-time SMRT taxi drivers were locked out of their vehicles early Monday morning (Oct 30) in a three-hour server glitch on the transport operator’s short-term taxi rental service portal, SMRT Taxi Share.
Rolled out in January by SMRT, the service requires taxi drivers to prebook a taxi, head to the pick-up point closest to them, and get on taxishare.com.sg to indicate that they would like to “Start Trip” — a button that would only be enabled past the starting time of their booking — before their cars would be unlocked.
But drivers who went through their usual routine on Monday morning were met with an irresponsive ‘Start Trip’ button, although they were able to access the Taxi Share website.
Those attempting to end their rental reportedly faced problems doing so. Late charges are S$10 for every 15 minutes or part thereof.
In response to TODAY’s queries, SMRT taxi services’ general manager, Mr Shaun Lee, said: “Our Taxi Partners support team is aware of the temporary server glitch this morning, and has been reaching out to the handful of affected taxi partners. We will honour our taxi partners’ requests for refund upon verification.”
Eight drivers took their frustration to a Taxi Share Facebook group after having troubles reaching SMRT on its hotline. The earliest post was made at 4.30am. The system was restored shortly after 7am, according to a Taxi Share user who managed to unlock his car at 7.05am.
“I can’t unlock the car since 6am, and now (it’s) 7am. The clock (started) ticking. Please refund,” said Facebook user Lester Tan who was supposed to get on the Toyota Prius he rented from 6am to 2pm.
Another driver Leslie Chang posted: “I waited (for an) hour (but I) still can’t contact (the) SMRT officer. Can I cancel to get (a) refund from SMRT?”
Another Facebook user with the handle of Will Iam said he tried calling SMRT’s customer service hotline, but he was left waiting for at least 20 minutes.
“SMRT, if your system breaks down, please message or email to all drivers,” he wrote in his post.
A 43-year-old driver who only wanted to known as Alvin decided not to work after he stood outside his taxi for half an hour from 6am with little clue why his car would not unlock.
“So no income today... (The Taxi Share system for the) whole (of) Singapore is down, same as their trains,” he told TODAY, adding that the SMRT has promised a refund of his S$68 10-hour rental.
“It has happened to me twice so far (in seven months).”
SMRT’s Taxi Share scheme allows those with a taxi driving vocational license to rent taxis in three-hourly blocks by picking up and returning the taxi at a location that is convenient to them.
So far, SMRT is the only taxi operator adopting such a model where taxi drivers do not have to seek a relief driver to cover the cost of a rented vehicle should they not wish to commit full-time.
Hourly rental varies across the day between S$6.80 and S$S$12.80.
Uber driver jailed for 5 weeks for attacking cabby, fined $1,000 for shouting vulgarities at hotel staff http://str.sg/4tA8
Multi-taxi collision at Resorts World Sentosa
SINGAPORE: At least four taxis were involved in what appeared to be a collision at one of the car parks at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) on Monday (Dec 4).
The moments after the incident involving the taxis from ComfortDelgro and SMRT was captured on a video which has been circulating online.
Responding to Channel NewsAsia, ComfortDelGro group corporate communications officer Tammy Tan said: "We are in touch with our cabbies and are reaching out to other cabbies who were involved in this incident to assist them as best as we can.
SMRT, meanwhile, said it is assisting in investigations.
“We are providing our taxi partners with support and are thankful that no passengers were on board," said Mr Patrick Nathan, vice president of corporate communications.
Taxi crashes into power supply box in Bukit Merah
SINGAPORE: A taxi crashed into a power supply box at the junction of Hoy Fatt Road and Jalan Rumah Tinggi in Bukit Merah on Monday (Dec 11) morning.
The police said they were alerted to the accident at 10.15am.
Channel NewsAsia understands that the taxi had crashed into a parking gantry before knocking down the power supply box.
The driver, a man in his 50s, suffered minor injuries but did not want to be taken to hospital.
A passerby, Mr Gary Haris, said he was driving from Hoy Fatt Road towards Jalan Rumah Tinggi when he saw the aftermath of the accident at around 1pm.
He said that the road was closed by traffic police while the taxi, a yellow CityCab, was being towed away.
Comfort DelGro, which owns CityCab, said it is assisting with police investigations.
"We are in touch with our cabby who was uninjured in the incident. We are also relieved that there were no passengers at the point of the incident, and no one else was injured," said Ms Tammy Tan, Comfort DelGro's group corporate communications officer.
New taxi stand opens at Changi Airport Terminal 1
SINGAPORE: If you have been travelling this holiday season, you may have noticed a new taxi stand in operation at Changi Airport's Terminal 1.
Located at basement one, the taxi stand opened on Tuesday (Dec 19) and replaces the old facility at the terminal's first floor arrival hall.
The move is part of the Terminal 1 expansion and is in preparation for the opening of Jewel Changi Airport in 2019, which will be directly linked to the terminal.
Passengers Channel NewsAsia spoke to noted the new taxi stand is slightly further away, but said it was not difficult to find.
"All the way there're a lot of signs," said 36-year-old Kai Ng, who was catching a cab from the new taxi stand. "I mean, our opinion is that it's so easy to find your way around here."
"Location wise it is quite good. I think the design is very nice, comfortable. Looking forward to taking more taxis here," said 25-year-old Ian Goh, another taxi commuter.
There are 21 taxi bays available at the new facility and a new taxi dispatch system is being used.
Through sensors and other algorithms, the system is designed to dispatch an appropriate number of taxis from the holding area to meet demand at the Terminal 1 taxi stand.
It also prompts drivers to the clusters where there are passengers.
Chang Airport Group (CAG) said this has automated some of the job processes of its roadway managers.
The system was first trialed at the airport’s Terminal 3 in July, before being implemented there as well.
CAG added that development works at Terminal 1 are about 60 per cent complete. Passengers can expect a more spacious arrival and baggage claim hall, as well as a revamped departure hall.
In early 2018, the new Terminal 1 arrival pick-up facility at the first basement will also be ready. Currently, the pick-up area is located at level one.
Other new ground transport facilities expected include the new Terminal 1 and Jewel carpark and coach stand.