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Where did all the taxis go?!

By BenCee on 29 May 2011

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I realise that I am one of those people who is really reliant on the car, and drive to literally everywhere I go.

The other day, I found out why, when I decided to put our "world-class" public transportation to the test.

Boy did I regret it.

I figured that the closest alternative to driving has to be taking taxis, and so, I left my car at home one day, and tried to take a cab to work.

It took me nearly 20 minutes before I even spotted an available one. And that one was an uncle who was changing shift (not to my destination) and took pity on me after seeing me drenched in sweat from the blazing sun. If he wasn't so kind I wondered how long more I would have waited.

OK, I guess it's my fault for staying in such a far out place like Woodlands, where no men (and thus taxis) exist, so I tried it out again during evening peak hour, on the way home. I suppose it would be easier to get a cab then.


Again, it took over 20 minutes before I even spotted a taxi with the green sign on top. Car after car passed by, but no, not a single available taxi. After an agonizing wait, one taxi finally entered my office building to drop off passengers, and I pounced.

I don't even want to talk about the ride experience afterwards. Let's just say he upheld his profession's reputation, if you know what I mean.

Frankly, I find it ridiculous that with so many taxi companies in Singapore now, and their talk of expansion and constant bidding for Category A COEs, I can still wait close to half an hour before a single taxi is available. In half an hour I can easily drive from home to town (or anywhere actually) with clear traffic, so that's productivity down then.

With that kind of 'service', you have to wonder whether their exorbiant fares are worth it (the trip home cost me $30, or about half a tank of fuel for me).

Before you ask me about buses and trains, I have to point out that there is NO bus service from my workplace going to anywhere near I live (another benefit of living in Woodlands. Yay), and the nearest MRT from here is a good 15-20 minutes away. Taking the bus/train home would involve lots of silly transfers and use up probably a good hour or two, which is honestly very stupid. And we all know about the rush hour squeeze on the MRTs and buses.

I detest public transport simply because you are at the mercy of others when you rely on them. Call me cynical, but I'd rather be in control of my own fate rather than risk wasting a big chunk of my time waiting (time that can be more wisely spent) and potentially getting into a death trap, seeing how most taxi drivers operate here.

I don't care if driving in Singapore bankrupts me. There simply is no replacement.

World class public transport, yeah right.

local, motoring, traffic and 5 more...

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Written by BenCee
A petrolhead from young, Ben is living the dream, writing about cars...

  • 1
Nightsky May 29 2011 10:38 PM
"There simply is no replacement." I concur, lol.
Lucaswh May 29 2011 10:57 PM
ok la..think about all the other people who can't afford running a car. Now that's one frustrating situation.
Iygnaug May 29 2011 11:41 PM
I think some cabbies simply use the vehicle as their personal transport most of the time, rather than going around picking up customers.
Acerchan2002 May 29 2011 11:54 PM
So niao...Call cab la, $2.50 also want to save..Typical singaporean, only know how to whine and complain
Razgriz May 30 2011 08:58 AM
Afford to take cab is good enough some can't afford to daily take cab mus sardine pack de train lagi cham
Watwheels May 30 2011 12:35 PM
He's quite right. Try calling for a taxi at peak hour is like trying to strike 4D/Toto.
Mecontle May 31 2011 12:03 AM
there is only 1 place confirm with taxi: "gayland"
Roadie May 31 2011 02:46 AM
Taxis are difficult to get. But your situation is worse because of your location.
If you live next to MRT, can always take train if cab not available.

So if you are overspending to maintain a car...think about saving that money and investing on a property in better connected location.
Proton_neutron May 31 2011 07:34 AM

To maintain a car, it's not only about the petrol cost whiner.

There's so many other things, which includes the cost of the car [FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!], road tax, insurance, parking, maintenance, etc.

Haven't you forgotten about the call number? There's this thing about VIP Call Customers. After your 1st call and subsequent frequent calls thereafter, you'll be placed in the VIP system, and you CAN be assured to have a taxi from your usual pick-up point to your requested destination. This is where priority is given.

For people like you, your can suck thumb and continue driving, and congesting up our roads, if you don't mind paying that 127% Tax of a car's OMV + COE to the gahmen!

Fudanjx Jun 01 2011 03:35 PM
My dear Sinagporeans, you guys are very better off lah, don't be so jiasu, if you feel really too much to drive car, and detest public transport, ride a motorcycle lah, fast and free of jam. As long as you drive carefully, bring your raincoat, it is not bad, and can save you tons of money. Although I am driving now, I am still thinking buying a motorbike. Its fun. Only downside is not able to fetch young kids
JOHNKHOR Jun 01 2011 07:03 PM
Hi All.

Yes is true many taxi are use as pte/ family use they are like renting pte car and with $0 rent . How they just have to earn enough to pay rent then the rest os the time is for own use. Some have lobang pick up daily client like school / office / casio/ night culb ect. if they got enough to cover for rent for free why they want to buy car and must pay. Some even use as road recovery car i have come across a taxi come to jump start my car.
That why so many taxi licence issue and still very hard to get taxi when needed. LTA should need to do something la all COE are taken up by taxi we can't affort if can effort road are jam with all taxi la . Why still need a car better go for taxi . I know a taxi man stay pte house i alway see him driving morning with his wife, do you mean now taxi have body guard ???? Then night time was drive by another driver , Oh my god such a good deal i should have sell my car and quit my job and go for taxi la , need not pay a single cent and got good profit what business in town have such offer.... What do you think Bros and sis ...
  • 1
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