Voices Of Youth

Standardise fares for cabs, private-hire cars

Taxis are losing customers to private-hire services Grab and Uber.

One reason for this is that with taxis, there isn't a predetermined price and route, which means the driver can take a longer route or drive slower in order to earn more money.

In contrast, Grab and Uber are more convenient and cheap, especially with the many promotion codes and discounts they give.

With regard to the drivers, Uber and Grab drivers have told me that the actual money they earn is not a lot, as the company takes a percentage of each fare, and they earn less for short trips.

However, they earn incentives for trips they make, which taxi drivers do not get.

Taxi drivers have to pay to drive a cab and must take a course before they can do so. Grab and Uber drivers do not need to do this.

These are unfair conditions to work in, but this is a competitive country.

All commuters want to take the cheapest ride possible. All drivers want to earn a living.

A solution could be to standardise the pricing of these services. Companies can also put out promo codes more often, give their drivers higher incentives, or just lower the rental fee for cars.

Clarke Lim Xin Chong, 17 Polytechnic student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 27, 2017, with the headline 'Standardise fares for cabs, private-hire cars'. Subscribe