Flexible pricing for taxis lead to unsatisfactory outcome

I waited for a taxi at Harborfront Center at 6 pm. There was a long queue. I finally managed to get a taxi at 6.50 pm. It was a long wait.

It was peak hours. There was a slight drizzle. This could have accounted for the long wait.

When I was in Taipei earlier this month, I was able to get a taxi from the hotel during peak hours. I did not have to wait. There were plenty of taxis waiting for customers.

What is the special phenomena that caused this lack of taxis during certain busy hours?

This is my guess.

The taxi drivers have the choice of accepting a call from a ride hailing platform (which offers a higher fare through their surge pricing mechanism) or a taxi call (where they earn a booking fee of $3). Some passengers were willing to pay the additional $3 to jump queue. The taxis arrive with a “On Call” sign to pick up these “jump queue” passengers.

Other passengers were willing to wait behind these “jump queue” passengers, but still they have to wait a long time. What happened to the other taxis?

My guess is that most of them are waiting for the surge pricing call or the booking call. This means that a large number of taxis are standing somewhere for the call. They are idle when they are needed most to meet the high demand.

I believe that the flexible pricing system (through the booking fee and the surge pricing) does not help to provide a better service. Instead, it produce the reverse effect of reducing the supply during the busy period.

What is the solution?

Maybe the transport minister should visit Taipei and learn from their experience?


Tan Kin Lian




7 Responses to “Flexible pricing for taxis lead to unsatisfactory outcome”

  • believe pap die fast faster:

    it is a wonderment tan kin lian believes in pap BS car lite.

    name one pap Lj or pap Cb alive or dead on bus mrt daily?

    name one. cannot find? because there is none.

    pap folks say car lite only because they want the roads to be smooth moving for their many cars.

    only pea brained type aka tan kin lian believe in the pap BS and taxi. what to say? serves tan kin lian right in taxi when a car is far better in pap Singapore. just cannot believe such sheep exists when self proclaimed top student from RI. so very hard to believe.

    perhaps tan kin lian also believed in the pap BS about cannot eat degree. so no degree and so from pea brained to brainless? probably. since believe pap become stupid stupider stupidest.

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  • No other way?:

    Take MRT lah. All sheltered and connected to shopping centers and covered walkways.

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  • Bapak:

    Mr Tan, you want our higher-than-them pay scholars to learn from them? You must be kidding.

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  • pap INDIAN is malay president:

    stop taking taxi.

    buy that car. if no money, tan kin lian, sell private property, live in HDB and get S$300 pap vouchers courtesy of 70% sheep CPF, and buy that car.

    if can’t drive, downgrade to HDB one room rental, with the money saved hire a full time driver.

    only 70% sheep bus mrt, and the richer sheep taxi.

    be smart and car. why make roads so smooth for pap clan member cars? unless born stupid and get stupider under pap system.

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  • Dear Mr Tan:

    Dont be so negative lah. The apps are gig economy like GrabFood, Fatpanda. They create “good” jobs and good pay.
    Think critically to solve the problem instead.
    LHL will listen to you.
    Taxi drivers, PHV drivers also need to make more money like Grab deliverymen.
    Maybe, you can suggest to the taxi companies to tweak their incentive schemes, so that commuters will not face the difficulties you encounter.
    Aiya, Kwa Boon Wan’s public transport is the best. We can even streamline (I think reduce services in your context) existing bus service because they are too many “empty” buses plying the roads.
    There are covered walkway and underground walkway everywhere, sorry maybe not in private housing estates like Namly Drive, Sixth Ave.
    Maybe, you can suggest allowing GrabFood delivery men to ferry people on PMDs and motorcycles, on the roads and pedestrian paths too.
    These gig workers will be very thankful to you for their sudden windfall (Just hope GradFood, Deliveroo dont tweak their incentive scheme downwards, or worse still, every full-employed PMETs decide to switch career and their companies have no choice but to import more FTs from North India, etc).
    Please think critically before you disagree with the taxi companies.

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  • Another view:

    I see a lot of empty taxi plying the road during of off peak hours.
    Maybe the taxi companies/taxi drivers can streamline to reduce operating cost and pass on the cost saving to commuters like Mr Tan here.
    Maybe, we should follow Taiwan and other countries and allow motorcycle taxi, legally or otherwise. Better still, allow tutu like in Thailand and Philippines, with roof and curtain doors in case of rain and strong sun.
    Please make sure the motorcycles are electric-based like PMDs. We can con other Singaporeans and other countries that we are green friendly, low emission, etc, just dont live near power plants that produce energy for the battery.
    You can take this gig-cum-old economy transport to MRT station, change stations a few times, then again this gig-cum-old economy transport home or wherever your destination is, dry and fresh. Peak hours or not.
    Maybe, we should import Northern Indian taxi drivers, they can speak fluent Hindi to cater to the growing Hindi population here. The North Indian children here have more opportunities to not only listen (MC programs are only one directional, listen onlY) but also converse with.
    ICA should vet through to allow proportional caste Hindi here in case existing NI, esp new Singaporeans complain about not having enough Hindi drivers of a particular caste.
    Maybe also Beijing people, because China Chinese complain they dont understand the Chinese Singaporeans speak.
    Need ICA to do something, instead of just monitoring this and that like our million $ PAP Ministers. Get the best and cheapest pedigree Chinese, better still some Confucius descendants.
    TREMERITUS – If I have OB here, please censor. I dont want to be POFMAed.

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  • with jobs and help:

    //I believe that the flexible pricing system (through the booking fee and the surge pricing) does not help to provide a better service.//

    it is just like 6.9m or 10m open-leg policy, and still white idiotic garment is crying for more talents lor and then out of a sudden, you see all the chat-ba-lang people doing average jobs (not earth shattering talents) and some so-called talented people that we import (PRs and converts) end up driving taxis and some may even have children needing assistance lor to compete with daft sinkies with jobs and help lor ?

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