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The Cost of Taking a Taxi at 6.30 am


Did something which the normal man on the street will encounter if you don't have a car. Like try taking a taxi early morning at 6.30 am.

Maybe I was stupid or naive.

I was trying taking the cab after the midnight surcharge had ended, but just before the peak hour surcharges kicked in.

What happened? I couldn't get a single cab. Those that were on the road were doing their own admin. Like ferrying their own kids to school, taking a leak, going for breakfast. Whatever.

So I tried calling the cab by dialing their hot-line. Which was really hot. It was so hot that i couldn't get through for 15 minutes.

By that time it was 7am, 30 minutes later. I had started calling only 15 minutes into my wait.

Suffice to say that it took me one complete hour to finally get a cab from a driver who heard what I had to say and drove out of the way to pick me up.

So in one day, there was utter frustration and also daylight for me. Cost of taxi ride? Almost $40 for the surcharge, call booking and a long journey on roads with heavy traffic.

Moral of the story for me?

Not to buy a car :) But to take the MRT if i could to the nearer location, so that I have more options. And to start out a journey early. Also the taxi driver advised that I can use the sms next time and bypass the phone operator.

Sorry to whine, but I remember just a few years ago when I had to go back for reservist and never had to face such problems as what I have encountered today. Guess Singapore is changing and in some ways, not for better.

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Anonymous said...
February 23, 2011 at 5:06 PM  

Singapore taxi system is too complicated with too many surcharges.

Result is that taxi drivers game the system to earn the max. You can't blame them if everyone else is doing it. As a passenger, I also "game the system", eg. wait for peak hours to pass etc...

Try taking a cab from City Hall, Raffles Place or Suntec City at 10pm at the taxi stand. You have to wait for long time or you give up and call to book a cab.

How did it end up so complicated?

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