Thursday, July 12, 2007

Taxi woo

When I was in the CBD (Central Business District) around 9 pm, I saw only a few taxis with the sign "HIRED" and no empty taxi around. It reminded me of some letters in the newspaper complaining about the disappearance of taxi near midnight. As I got out of MRT station on my way back home, I realize why so few taxis are in sight in the CBD at 10 pm and above. So many taxis are queuing in the shopping mall waiting for passengers in the taxi stand of the shopping mall besides the MRT station. However, no passengers is actually in sight.

Perhaps due to the strain of working in night shift, to reward the night driver, Singapore government endorses a regulation to get commuters to pay extra if the taxi is taken at midnight. However, the regulation seems to have backfired. Instead of getting passengers in the CBD at 10 pm, most night taxi drivers prefer to loiter around not crowded area (Imagine waiting for passengers in residential area at near midnight) so that they can cash in and charge extra taking passengers after midnight. The argument for them is simple. Taking passenger from CBD at 10 pm will deprive them the chance to get passengers at that place around 12 pm, because they might still be on the way back to the CBD from residential area, so they prefer to wait around in far far away residential area. As you might have guessed, calling for taxis work if the taxi is near to the place you are calling from. If all taxis is in Boon Lay (west most MRT line), and you are calling from Raffles Place, no taxi will ever show up for you. Hehehe....

I wonder what makes those taxi drivers shun the CBD before 10 pm. Avarice perhaps? Can't they just simply take passengers from CBD at 10 pm? There must be a number of passengers whose house is < 1.5 hrs two way trip. The spirit of service seems very much beaten down by the avarice.

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