Thursday, December 8, 2011

Singapore Taxi price hike again with ridiculous claim to PEAK HOURS definition

Oh grreat! Singapore Taxi - Comfort has decided to have a fare hike as well.

What REALLY ticks me off when I read the article was this sentence was the urging of National taxi Association urging other operators to adjust their fares as soon as possible. What happen to demand and supply? What happen to so call market forces? What happen to consumer protectionism against Mafia-like Oligopoly? What is the point of having 6 taxi companies when they are ALL ACTING AS ONE? Is this the so call competitiveness in Singapore? Is this so call the way to "bring about efficiency and price fairness" in Singapore? I dont know about you but this sure stinks of price collusion not unlike trade  monopoly, with price hike led by the BIG BROTHER with the biggest voice, muscles and fleets.

I almost laughed at the blatant fleecing veiled by their weak attempt of justification.
Peak hour in the morning is now 6am-9.30am while evening starts from 6pm - midnight.

Firstly, do these so call NTA and shareholders understand the true definition of PEAK HOUR??? Peak hour is defined loosely by common understanding as the "BUSIEST" time in a range of 24hours. From 6am - midnite, How can 9.5hours out of the supposed waking 18hours be peak hours?

You are telling me in Singapore between 6-7am and after 9pm there are ALOT OF TRAFFIC ON THE ROAD? If that is so, something is either seriously wrong with our lifestyle, or something is seriously wrong with the govt approach to balanced family life, and govt road planning. So who wants to own up for their failure? What family life is there to talk about if peak hour on the roads are inclusive 9pm -12am? I mean, peak hour means everyone is out and about right? That's why it's peak. So who's home to enjoy so call family life? Oh yes, not the poor hardworking lot of Singaporean residents. Where would all these so call busy traffic comes from? Peak hour to who? Peak hour to where? Peak hour based on what??? So does that mean that when the calls increase, the peak hour range gets broader and broader? Then you must as well add a non peak hour cash back incentive and reward me for not taxing your drivers too much.

To me, the night peak hour is ridiculous and liken to a slap in the face because we consumers have no rights or say in anything about this false and weak justification of price hike.

Moreover, why do we have to pay city surcharges when we are already compensating by paying ERP. In the first place, taxi drivers wont even want to come to city unless they already have an existing customers heading that way or on call. So why the hell are we being penalised twice just to get a cab service? If this is the way to so call "curb" traffic then how does slapping a surcharge helps in reducing the fine if people still pay for it? Plus how do you expect people not to opt for a cab when your stinking public transport such as bus and train are bursting at its seam and UNABLE TO COPE with the demand in the first place due to poor foresight and bad planning on the public transportation people, with NO REPERCUSSION ON THEIR part might I add? You want less traffic on the road but you are not providing adequate public tpt solutions except to constantly penalise the people who are supporting and financing this country. Everything that has been said sounds like bullshit after bullshit to me.

Advance booking is to encourage taxi drivers to take the booking. WHY SHOULD consumers be PENALISE to PAY more to your unprofessional fleet of taxi drivers? Why should we dangle carrots to irresponsible people who became taxi drivers with both eyes open, and yet get to be choosy and picky about the sort of service they want to provide????

My friend said some argued that Singapore taxi are cheaper than other developed countries. Personally, cheap my arse. And even the so call "pricer" cabs have better service and access to one compared to the case in Singapore. Also, who are you comparing to? Comparing to Australia where the even the minimum wages are many times higher than ours, not to mention normal wages and where almost every family owns a car? Comparing to Japan where they have the most efficient train system even in the REAL Peak hour, and their bus more efficient than ours? Comparing to HK where actually the price is not much more expensive considering the more complex narrow single lanes, and busy traffic and also another country with Their EXCELLENT efficient TRAIN, BUS and MINI BUS network, light years ahead of Singapore?? So what exactly are we comparing? Comparing that other nations actually have a REAL VIABLE alternates for public transport and taxis are really "luxury" while in Singapore, taxis are not luxury alternatives but a necessity because during the REAL PEAK hour, your freaking trains or buses are either too slow, overly jam packed, smelly and wasting my time waiting at the bus stop and station?

Taxi drivers in Singapore, no offence but over the years have grown to be a bunch of whiners and complainers who half the time do not know from one street to street. If you want to be that expensive, then at least have the decency to be professional and knowledgeable. Dont try to price yourself as if you are premium service and then provide half arse service. Everytime I board a cab, the drivers try to justify their ignorance with "Singapore road names are so confusing" excuse. I feel like shutting them up by telling them "Then obviously HK taxi drivers are better, smarter and more efficiency than you bloody lot since HK roads are more complex, narrower, more similar road names, more one way streets and MORE frequent road conditions but THEY never once gave me any grieve and always try to get me out of "jam" conditions from point A to B via the major roads to the small road alleys, some in jolly good mood too." I would most certainly tip a HK taxi driver most days but Singapore drivers, not many have left memorable service in my head in recent years. In terms of living quality, you think HK drivers have it any better? You think their houses are bigger? You think their cost of living is cheaper? So Singapore taxi drivers really dont know how lucky they are.

Initially I had my sympathies but over time I am getting fedup. If you are so pissed about the lack of income, then you taxi drivers SHOULD be banding together against the so call expensive rentals or whatever is preventing you from having a share of the profit. Or if you are so pissed about the long hours, then dont be a taxi driver, You dont enter a known profession with your both eyes wide open, and then complain about the benefits, hours and income. If you want a stable income, then go be a bus driver, truck driver, school bus driver or whatever that will match up to your expectation of a stable income. You do not enter a profession such as taxi drivers and then complain you dont earn enough money. It is not the first time we consumers keep hearing taxi drivers complaining not enough earnings, so for those who enter or continue to stay in this trade, suck it up and do your best instead of fleecing your consumers over and over again over the same old "fuel price has risen" excuse. When the fuel price fall, do you reduce your price? No. Says it all doesnt it?

It's not like ALL taxi passengers are rich just because they can hail a cab. Different people take cabs for different reasons. The people who are RICH will be driving and not taking your damn cab. It's exactly people who tries to be economical but needs to rush hence flagging for a cab. Taxi drivers and companies alike should stop treating and thinking that "just because you are taking a cab over a train or a bus means you must be rich enough or richer than me" attitude. Even if you dont think that way, you should are fleecing me enough to make me feel that way.

I understand price have to increase, but no one increases their pocket earning using so many form of excuses as in Singapore Taxi companies do. Do they think we are stupid or that HK dont incur fuel cost increase? But hello, they only increase from HK$18 to HK$20 flag down rate recently. No stupid ERP, NO stupid city surcharging. No stupid peak hour charges. $2HK dollar translate to about 35cents in Singapore currency. So can someone explain to me how is it that in HK, facing similar fuel increase and economical climate and standard of living, taxi drivers seem to cope better and whine less about the need to defray costs?

I really love to see what so call CASE can do about this ridiculous slap to the helpless consumers.
Oh, not that I expect anything positive for consumers to actually happen to prevent such callous price hike. If it does, its the same day I believe in the existence of  tooth fairy and santa.


WhiteDusk said...

Ah hah! You are using something like 1SGD - 6HKD for exchange rate! If I used 1 - 4.6 (rate in 2005) for everything then alot of things in HK would seem a lot more expensive but I would have been taking home a much higher pay before I left HK~

Not that I am defending the taxi drivers lah~ but sometimes when I compare the 2 cities I think about what-if the exchange rate is 4.6~

Nomad said...

Actually am using about 5.5 exchange rate because it has been about 6 for over a year now or like what 2 years? as far as I have lived here, it has not been better than 5.5 since 2008.

Before the previous hike, Sg taxi was definitely cheaper. However after the 35% peak hour charge, and add in all the ridiculous surcharges, no one can convince me its cheaper than best it is only comparable...but hey, at least if I dont take a cab in Hk, I am happy with the train and minius. I do not get that nice option in Singapore lor...

Hum Yee Fan Sang said...

Anonymous said...

oh. did you mention about taxi drivers who like to take you on longer routes to fleece you and when you call them out they will act blur and have all sorts of excuses??