Monday, January 5, 2015

Taxi service standards set but ...

The time taken to hail a taxi in Singapore has improved since the taxi service standards have been set. Sometimes we still can't get taxis during peak periods but it has improved. However, it does seem that there are unintentional victims due to this service standard. The taxi drivers...

Yes, I understand that the minimum distance of 250km a day is to ensure that the taxis are fully utilised and that taxi companies do not indiscriminately buy more taxis causing more congestion on the roads when they are not utilised fully. However, somebody seems to have forgotten that that's the job of the COE, not the taxi service standard.

Just by the term taxi service standard... In what way does driving a minimum distance of 250km raise standards? The facts. It doesn't. In fact, it forces taxi drivers to regularly ply the roads, regardless if there are passengers or not, and releasing more carbon monoxide pollution in the air.

Do not forget too that Singapore is only 50 km from the east to the west, and 26 km from the north to the south. It is also not very often that you get customers from Pasir Ris wanting to travel to Tuas.

Guess what? Taxi drivers wanting to meet this service standard may instead travel all the way to Changi Airport waiting to pick up tourists that hopefully will go to some hotel in the east so that they could meet the standard. Doesn't this worsen the situation?

The minimum distance of 250km does help in keeping taxis on the roads but it is unfairly putting the burden on our taxi drivers, where most if not all are true blue Singaporeans trying to earn a living.

If we're talking about taxi service standards, I believe customers are only looking for taxi drivers that do not pick their passengers, drive around with an empty cab but with a busy sign on, and able to get a taxi when we try to book one, regardless of which taxi companies answer the booking.

The 250km minimum distance is no where in the customers wish list. In fact, all those who takes taxis regularly should know what are the bug bears. So how did this 250km standard come about?

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