Taxi giant's merger with Uber not all good news

The momentous merger between ComfortDelGro and Uber will undoubtedly create a win-win situation for both operators, but it may not be all good news for everyone (ComfortDelGro to take 51% stake in Uber business; Dec 9).

As ComfortDelGro cabbies will soon be able to receive ride requests through the Uber app, this translates into fewer cabbies plying the roads.

Let's not forget that we still have a group of less tech-savvy people, especially some seniors who do not know how to use smartphones.

This group stands to suffer when their chances of flagging down a taxi are greatly reduced.

Overall, we are fuelling societal polarisation.

Will we also be seeing fewer or even no taxi queues in landmark locations, like at the airport and hospitals?

To revive the taxi business of ComfortGelGro, the authorities may simply impose a quota on the number of private-hire cars.

This may be executed by, for example, imposing an age criterion for qualified private-hire drivers, just like for taxi drivers.

Lim Chee Khiam

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