Very hard to hail a cab by the road now, say drivers and passengers
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Very hard to hail a cab by the road now, say drivers and passengers

A latest survey by the Public Transport Council discovered that passengers’ satisfaction with taxi and private-hire automotive providers dropped in 2022, with the rating for wait time falling essentially the most.

Taxi driver Chan Kim Min’s passenger waited 40 minutes on the taxi stand outdoors OG Individuals’s Park earlier than he occurred to drive by.

The passenger had not referred to as for a cab, Mr Chan recounted to CNA concerning the passenger he picked up in February.

It shocked the 67-year-old, who has been driving a ComfortDelGro taxi for twenty-four years, as he’s used to accepting bookings from passengers who’ve referred to as a cab or people who are available by way of his firm’s reserving app, CDG Zig.

“If you wish to flag down a cab by the highway these days, it’s totally arduous to get one,” he stated in Mandarin.

Whereas his passenger didn’t specific frustration on the lengthy wait time, a latest survey discovered that passengers’ satisfaction with taxi and private-hire automotive providers dropped in 2022, with the rating for wait time falling essentially the most.

Respondents within the Public Transport Council on buyer satisfaction for point-to-point transport providers survey have been requested to point on a scale of 1 to 10 the significance of, and their satisfaction with, key service attributes, primarily based on their most up-to-date journey in a taxi or private-hire automotive.

The survey outcomes launched on Feb 6 discovered that satisfaction with taxi stand accessibility and ready time scored the bottom at 7.6 and seven.1 respectively.

Passengers who nonetheless flag down taxis famous it’s “inconceivable” to get a journey the standard method, stated those that spoke to CNA.

One passenger, Ms Natalie Pang, “very hardly ever takes cabs within the first place”, but when she does, she would wait by the highway or at a taxi stand.

The 35-year-old solely turns to an app if she wants a cab late at evening and makes use of the CDG Zig app solely.

“(Hailing a cab on the) major highway is inconceivable, however I as soon as by likelihood managed to flag down one taxi within the final seven months,” she stated.

One other passenger, Ms Keryn Wai, added that whereas it’s arduous to hail a cab by the highway, it’s not any simpler at a taxi stand as many drivers favor passengers to have a reserving.

“I have been informed by taxi uncles that (the variety of taxis) lowered rather a lot since COVID, and that is why there aren’t that many on the highway now. A portion of those that are left are doing Seize, Gojek, Tada too. So they like to attend for enterprise through the apps and even the ComfortDelGro bookings,” the 31-year-old stated.

Mr Chan stated that he would additionally share related causes together with his passengers after they complain to him that it’s more and more troublesome to flag down a cab.

The scarcity of drivers is an industry-wide development. The variety of month-to-month lively point-to-point drivers fell from round 69,000 pre-pandemic to 55,000 within the final quarter of 2022, Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor stated in Parliament on Mar 3.

The decline is steeper for taxi drivers, with about 9,000 fewer lively drivers in comparison with pre-pandemic. Many drivers who left the {industry} have been these driving evening or weekend shifts, she added.

The dearth of drivers has thus resulted in excessive surge fares and longer ready occasions, particularly in the course of the late night or at evening.

Ms Wai, who used to take cabs no less than two to a few occasions per week, has since minimize all the way down to as soon as per week at most. When she is working late, she waits by the roadside or a taxi stand whereas making an attempt her luck on ride-hailing apps.

However more often than not, “the apps come by way of (with a journey) first”, she stated.

At the same time as street-hailing passengers wrestle to get a journey, drivers, too, wrestle to choose up passengers alongside the highway.

Information from the Land Transport Authority revealed an enormous distinction between the quantity of street-hailing and ride-hailing journeys during the last two years.

The common each day variety of ride-hail journeys was about 4 occasions the common each day variety of street-hail journeys for every month in 2021, with this hole widening in 2022.

In November 2021, for example, the common variety of each day street-hail journeys was 112,000, in comparison with a median of 451,000 each day ride-hail journeys. That very same month in 2022, the common variety of each day street-hail journeys sunk to 97,000, whereas the common variety of each day ride-hail journeys jumped to 496,000.

Those that flag down a taxi by the highway are “normally above 50 years previous”, identified Mr Chan.

“There may be the occasional youthful passenger, however they’re normally ready at a taxi stand,” he stated, highlighting the passenger who had waited for 40 minutes.

One other driver, who solely needed to be often known as Mr Chia, agreed that “only a few flag down” his taxi nowadays. “Virtually all use the (ComfortDelGro) app and telephone,” the 72-year-old stated.

Whereas fewer street-hailing passengers haven’t affected Mr Chia’s take-home wage a lot, Mr Chan has seen his pay dip by a number of hundred {dollars} a month. However the latter doesn’t need to get onto ride-hailing apps, as there’s “an excessive amount of competitors” there.

“I am an old-timer already, I do not need to combat with others. My wage will certainly be much less (with out a ride-hailing app), however I’ve accepted it,” he stated.

Those that select to hail a cab by the highway, regardless of having ride-hailing apps put in on their telephones, stated the surge pricing on ride-hailing apps is a turn-off.

Ms Wai as soon as checked {that a} journey from Newton to Serangoon would have price her S$22 to S$25 on a ride-hailing app throughout peak hour. In the long run, she hailed a taxi alongside the road for S$12.

“The ride-hailing apps have been dearer just lately, with Seize being the worst. There may be virtually at all times a surge pricing, 30 to 80 per cent greater than the same old. The few occasions I managed to flag down a cab, it is 30 per cent cheaper than any of the (ride-hailing) apps,” she stated.

“And it is one factor to be costly, however by the point I lastly get a taxi or a journey through the apps throughout (peak hour) timings, I might have simply taken public transport. It is even worse when it is raining,” she added.

Ms Pang solely makes use of the CDG Zig app and isn’t on different ride-hailing platforms.

“I feel I downloaded the Seize app in 2020 solely. And after I used it, the costs have been at all times increased than ComfortDelGro and (the journey was) at all times slower to reach,” she stated.

Likewise, Mrs Diane Tan, a 32-year-old mom, estimated the wait time for a Seize journey to be longer than hailing a cab alongside the primary highway or at a taxi stand nowadays.

Whereas she tries to make use of public transport as a lot as doable and hardly makes use of ride-hailing apps anymore as a result of inflation, she famous that when there’s a worth surge on these apps and it’s not throughout peak hour, taking a “regular cab is perhaps cheaper”.

“Anyway, issues like (the supply of) e-payments are not differentiating elements, as a result of if I flag down a cab, I can nonetheless pay by card and so forth,” she added.

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