The Straits Times
Published on Nov 29, 2012

Ways to improve taxi utilisation


THE Land Transport Authority (LTA) has said that from January, taxi companies have to ensure that 70 per cent of their taxis ply the roads at peak hours and reach a minimum daily mileage of 250km per cab ("Benchmarks set for taxis to meet demand"; last Saturday).

If the intent is to ensure the availability of taxis, this is the wrong way to do it. Running empty taxis on the roads only adds to congestion, road pollution and cost to taxi operators in diesel consumption and increased maintenance, and driver fatigue.

What we should do is to implement the following:

Taxi drivers will also benefit from the money saved in fuel and maintenance.

I am sure that with a bit of thought, the taxi companies and the LTA can come up with more creative strategies to improve taxi utilisation and customer service.

Ramesh Ramchand