MAILBAG

... But how long will the benefits last?

Does Uber bring healthy competition – or does it put the livelihood of taxi drivers at risk?
Does Uber bring healthy competition – or does it put the livelihood of taxi drivers at risk? PHOTO: ST FILE

I feel the article, Uber Driving Cabbies Crazy (Life, Oct 18), has trivialised the matter by saying that Uber fosters good competition. It has not taken into account that Uber puts the livelihood of taxi drivers at risk.

Kong Pih Shu


I agree with the writer that the introduction of  third-party ride- booking apps has brought about a quantum leap in convenience and service. But will these benefits last? 

As business for such apps grows, traditional taxi operators may reduce their fleets on the road as demand for their service drops. So we will go back to the same situation before private-hire drivers appeared on the scene, and the supply of taxis for consumers would be the same.

What are the standards required of Uber drivers? I understand that they are not subject to the same standards as a taxi driver, such as in areas of training and insurance coverage.

While I share the view that competition will help improve service standards, the playing field should be level. Some things highlighted in the article, such as cashless payment and transportation of pets can be introduced for taxis services. I hope we will not go back to the days when pirate taxis ruled the roads.

Leong Kok Seng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2015, with the headline ''. Print Edition | Subscribe