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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Big "Hoo-Ha" Over Fare Hikes.

It is not a ridiculous taxi fare increase as far as regular commuters are concern, and I don't see any drastic change in taxi ridership patterns across the island. From some direct accounts of on the spot surveys carried out yesterday in respect of the fare hikes from commuters, results have shown that the increases are very minimal and hardly felt. Anyhow, it is still too early to gauge the impact of the hikes but Comfort Taxis having the largest taxi fleet on the road is good enough testing ground to finding out the general responses from commuters even from the very first day of its effectiveness, and from what we hear over live interviews on television, the newspapers and news online, I guess its not going to be a long drawn subject of unhappiness from the general public but the usual waiting time and the unending complaints will definitely continue to persist.
People use taxis when they need them whether there is any increase or not. As it is, the cost of living and the high diesel price have made it most difficult to earn a living. Taxi drivers work very long hours, as much as 12 to 13 hours a day and its no joke, with no CPF contributions, no annual leaves and worst of all, not even allowed to fall sick at all, the life of a Taxi Driver is indeed tough. Therefore, a tiny increase in taxi fares to help taxi drivers maintain a decent livelihood, have a better income opportunity, should not make it sound like a 'life and death' issue, cause great unhappiness or even having thoughts of boycotting, afterall, it has been 5 years since the last fare hike exercise in 2007.

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