ROLAND ANG: I have long stopped using our taxis (unless in an emergency) for a number of reasons.
It used to be that all taxis levied similar or standard fare charges. Then with more operators entering the competition for the consumer’s dollar, flag-down fares and distance fares started to differ.
Throw in layers of surcharges by the authorities and the consumer is faced with a bewildering fare structure that only serves to confuse us. And let us not forget the differing booking charges for “premier” types of taxis.
For the less well-off who wish to be careful about our spending on transport, such a complicated fare structure renders supplier-comparison a painful task each time we want to take a taxi.
In contrast, our MRT fare structure is more straightforward. Why not have a less intimidating fare structure across all taxi companies?
Our transport system (buses, trains, taxis and roads) together with our airport and seaport are part of the infrastructure that attracts foreign investment here.
Can our transport operators be viewed as providing a much-needed socio-economic service, instead of merely competing with one another for the consumer’s dollar?
As some taxi drivers have pointed out, some surcharges do not incentivise them, and the current fare system is confusing even for drivers.
This letter was written by Roland Ang.
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