Saturday, December 31, 2011

Premier Taxi price hike

Premier Taxi is the next taxi operator to follow ComfortDelgro and SMRT to increase its fares. Flag down rates will now be increased to S$0.20 to S$0.70, making the updated rate cost between S$3.00-3.90, depending on the taxi model. Distance fares will also increase by $0.22, an increase from the original S$0.20.

Like ComfortDelgro and SMRT, Premier Taxis also reduced their peak period surcharge, which is from 35% to 25% of the metered fare. While the peak period has been extended to 6- 9:30am from Mondays to Fridays (excluding public holidays), and 6pm - 12 midnight from Monday to Sunday, including public holidays.

It was reported that Premier Taxi attests that with the new fare structure, drivers will experience more productive hours on the road. Premier Taxi, like ComfortDelgro and SMRT, state that the increase is due to inflation and higher operating costs, so their drivers' incomes have been affected (which would imply that the taxi operators are also affected?). It is a matter of time that Prime Taxi will follow suit. After which, the rental for taxis will also increase; ultimately making the taxi operators the ultimate winners.

These taxi operators have claimed that they have consulted their drivers and studied the situation before making such a decision, but perhaps they forgot to consult the "source" of their income - the passengers (many of whom may or may not be able to afford such luxury anymore or simply unwilling due to the high-handed nature of the assumption/announcement), assuming compliance. It is hard to tell the true impact of these price hikes as it is the festive season, with more people willing to splurge and less people actually in the country as they head out for their holidays.

The recent MRT disruptions and boo-boos in PR skills, has resulted in disgruntled Singaporeans. And who can blame those disgruntled ones? It is hard to adjust when you have been informed and assured that your country’s transport system is one of the best, only to have needless(?) disruptions and poor contingency plans shatter your "perfect pretty" world, resulting in utter disappointment and discontent. Timing is everything, and the MRT disruptions together with the saga that followed right after the announcement for taxi price hike, couldn’t be a better timing, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. This plus the fact that everything else but salaries are increasing (more rapidly) is adding more fuel to an already fanning fire of discontent and unhappiness; when nothing "seems" to be done about anything in particular.

I believe that (majority of) Singaporeans are reasonable (as long as it is within reason). However, the younger generation, unlike the older one is not as trusting or forgiving when it comes to things that "should not" have been (per ingrained mindset or perceived perception). They not only want to be heard, they want their opinions to matter and not be brushed aside because they are “young and inexperienced”, or simply “not qualified enough”.

**Please note that this view is that of an individual with a “microscopic” view of this situation, unlike that of bigger organizations (e.g taxi operators) who are extremely "macro" that they see the “full picture” and think of the “greater good for all”.

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