Onus is on large taxi firms to improve service

Last Thursday's commentary seems to imply a degree of insidious behaviour on the part of Uber, GrabTaxi and other booking app firms ("Back to the days of 'pirate' taxis?").

Thus far, the authorities have not curbed how these new solution providers operate, perhaps because they are helping to meet demand.

On the contrary, it is the mighty, large taxi firms like ComfortDelGro and SMRT which do not seem to care if commuters find a cab, because their revenue model is based on rental fees paid by taxi drivers.

These firms even make money if one chooses to pay with a credit card. Restaurants and shops don't charge an extra 10 per cent when I pay with a credit card at their establishments, why should taxi companies?

I use Uber and Easy Taxi apps because I get my taxi and I don't have to mess with cash.

If the large players in the taxi business have no stake in actually meeting customers' needs, and are unscathed when a taxi driver's daily bottom line is affected by customer volume, weather or traffic conditions, how can the situation for commuters and drivers improve?

All I want is to get from A to B, and for happy taxi drivers to ply our roads.

Gurmit Singh Kullar

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2015, with the headline 'Onus is on large taxi firms to improve service'. Print Edition | Subscribe