Income of its drivers up by 10 per cent, says ComfortDelGro
Today Online Friday • January 4, 2008A
Some cabbies had griped about seeing their takings plummet since fares were hiked three weeks ago — but an initial finding by the largest taxi operator here suggests that the contrary is, in fact, true.
"From our initial findings, income of drivers has gone up by about 10 per cent," said ComfortDelGro spokeswoman Tammy Tan, in response to Today's queries.
"We have over 30,000 drivers and while some have indicated a drop in takings, others have seen an increase. "
The fare revision is aimed not just at regulating demand and supply but also increasing driver income, and early indications are that this is happening."
Some cabbies claim to have suffered a 5- to 50-per-cent cut in takings as commuters resist the impulse to take taxis, turning instead to trains and buses.
Nr Ng Kian Cha, 54, groused: "Business has gone down especially during the morning peak hours. I picked up only three people in two-and-a-half hours. It is even worse after 5pm."
But other taxi companies say it is too early to tell if their drivers indeed face an income crunch.
Mr Lim Chong Boo, managing director of Premier Taxis, with a fleet of 2,400, said the number of call bookings dipped during the Christmas period — which he attributed to people going on holiday overseas — but picked up just before the new year.
"It's too premature to come to any conclusion," he said.
Meanwhile, commuters are still coming to grips with how the revised surcharges are tallied — and a few unscrupulous taxi drivers are taking advantage of their confusion.
One cabbie allegedly charged undergraduate Daniel Soh an extra $3 on Wednesday night, after a short journey from Newton MRT station to Zouk discotheque in Kim Seng Road.Under the new fare structure, a $3 city area surcharge is levied between 5pm and midnight from Monday to Saturday, for anyone boarding a taxi within the zone bounded by the electronic road pricing gantries. Newton falls outside this.
"I knew there was no surcharge but the driver said there was," said Mr Soh, 23, who paid the fare but complained to the taxi company.
Office manager Ziehan Adnan, 25, claimed she was taken on a roundabout route on Wednesday, after she had boarded the taxi 10 minutes before the peak hour surcharge — now 35 per cent of the metered fare — expired.
When confronted, the taxi driver argued that she was paying less in surcharges than if the whole ride had fallen within the peak period.
"I am more angry about the drivers' attitudes than about the money," she said.
While new fare guides have been posted in taxis, bank executive Audrey Chow, 27, said: "There are just too many surcharges and you cannot remember them all. I will just pay whatever is on the meter."
Cabbie Teo Teck Huat, 60, said there was little incentive for drivers to inflate fares by taking a longer route "because that would waste a lot of our own time".
A spokeswoman for SMRT Taxis, which has 3,000 taxis, told Today it had not received any complaints."
To ensure our passengers are charged the correct fare, our taxi meters automatically capture any additional surcharges incurred throughout the journey," she said.
Still, commuters are advised to keep their receipts, which give a breakdown of the fare.
ComfortDelGro's Ms Tan said: "Our meters are tamper-proof so there is little risk of miscalculation."
I believe this article to rubbished those complaints from cabbies that claim they income have dropped due to lack of passengers after the increase in fare.
The first part of the article states that some comfort taxi drivers income increase by 10% instead.
This statement is so idiotic.
Note that Tammy don’t provide any figure.
We only know comfort has about 30 000 drivers. But how many of them actually had a 10% increase in his income? Could be only just 1 of the 30 000!!
Before the fare restructuring, Comfort Driver Bo Jo Kang only drive his cab 2 days in a week and he take his normally take it easy so his average daily income is about $100. Multiply by 2 and his weekly income in $200.
After the fare restructuring, Bo Jo Kang daily income dropped by 50%. So he need to work longer hours to compensate. He drive 5 days instead of 2 days in a week and his weekly income is about $250. A whopping 25% increase in his income! Hooray!
So what we see here? Bo Jo Kang had to work longer to earn what his used to get. At the end of the day it is the bloody taxi company that benefit from all the fare restructuring. Now drivers had to rent more cabs from them while the drivers and passengers suffered.
Then the article speaks for itself how some driver increase they taking of the days. BY OVERCHARGING.