Voices Of Youth

Why private-hire car services are a hit

Many people seem to think cabbies are lazy, and that they hide somewhere for about half an hour before midnight so they can gain from the midnight surcharge.

They also cite the success of private-hire car services and argue how regular cabbies are unable to deliver.

However, I beg to differ.

There are many reasons why I prefer Uber and Grab over traditional taxis.

First, the Uber app has so many more features compared with traditional taxi-booking systems.

I can see where the drivers are and I can easily contact them if I see them heading the wrong way, thus saving time.

Also, I can easily keep track of my rides using the app.

Second, I can pay for my fares easily. Instead of having to pay a 10 per cent service charge when I use my credit card, I get discounts when I use Android Pay with Uber and Grab, allowing for swifter payments. This way, I can get in and get out of my ride quickly without needing to fiddle with coins and notes.

Third, I know what my fare will be even before I start a trip.

If traditional taxi firms came up with similarly intuitive apps and systems, I will gladly use them again. Instead of blaming taxi drivers, we should focus on the unwillingness of taxi firms to change, and their slow response to competition.

Teo Chen Wei,16 ,
Secondary 4 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2017, with the headline 'Why private-hire car services are a hit'. Print Edition | Subscribe