Monday, January 07, 2008

Hey... Want to take cab?

'Hey...want to take cab? No surcharge for peak hours' Read the article (related to the picture above) on AsiaOne News Well, My father-in-law has just returned his cab. Given up. Times are indeed back for both drivers and passengers. Business is going from bad to worse. Last weekend, I was in town around City Hall and it's the first time I've seen so many empty taxis available for hire. Also, the people queuing up for a cab outside the Esplanade was almost none-existent. I no longer take cabs when coming back from work. Opting to take an hour-long bus ride instead and then take a 15 minute walk home. I have been condescending on the last hike but this recent one is really too much for me to afford. In the past, sometimes I go downtown for a meal and light shopping with my wife after work. I'll always suggest to take the taxi back home. My argument? "I'm gonna save time cos my time is worth more than the trip." Yeah well, I hate waiting. LOL. A typical trip back would have cost around $8-10 can cost well over $13 now. Special note and thanks to the rise in town boarding surcharge. Hmmz.. another senario. Let's say if I'm required back in HQ at Alexander Rd after my daily work at Yishun. In the past, I'll probably try to beat the peak hour surcharge by leaving early and boarding a cab before 5pm. The previous $2 surcharge was imposed determined by the moment you board the vehicle. Now, however, the peak period (5pm-8pm) metered charge is 35% of the overall bill and acts like how the midnight charge (50%) is calculated. Even if I board early, once it's 1700hrs, the 35% kicks and applies every time the meter jumps. Before the hike, the trip back to HQ would be like $22+. Now it's approximately $30+ due to the increase in boarding fare ($2.80 now from $2.50, if you're lucky to get a regular cab and not a Mercedes), peak surcharge (35%. THIRTY FIVE FREAKING PERCENT of $20 is already $7.00) and the metered fare ($0.20 per jump from previous $0.10. Even though it's almost twice the distance of previous $0.10 jumps but it's STILL SHORTER) Oh.. and the increased waiting fare too when the cab pauses at junctions. :) It really might not sound like much of a hike in terms of OVERALL PERCENTAGES. It's a term that our dear local business and not-so-business entities like to employ to lessen the impact and create an impression that a just a few percent increment is not much. And then they'll do it several times in succession. Guess we'll all just have to adapt to the current changes or adopt some other alternatives. There's no way the prices will ever come down. Perhaps we will get used to it after a while. Get tired of complaining, and just move on with the flow. That's what I kinda heard a taxi driver said on radio station Love 97.2fm one morning - "The increment won't matter much lah. After a round of complaining, they will get over it. Singaporeans are very obedient one." Guess we'll just have to wait & see. Just for the record... my money is bet on the "Get over it and move on" direction. We always do. For now, I'll just enjoy my daily naps on the bus. Sometimes I watch anime. :)

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