Commuters more satisfied with Uber, Grab than taxis: Public Transport Council survey

A driver showing the Uber driver's app on his handphone.
A driver showing the Uber driver's app on his handphone.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Commuters are more satisfied with private-hire car services than taxis, according to a survey by the Public Transport Council (PTC).

A poll of over 1,500 respondents found that private-hire services, such as Uber and Grab, were given a satisfaction mean score of 7.9 out of 10, while taxis registered a lower score of 7.5.

Private-hire services fared better than taxis in all comparable categories: waiting time, ease of booking, information on services, ride comfort, driver's knowledge of routes, service provided by the driver, and safety.

Survey participants were asked to rate their satisfaction levels on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being "very dissatisfied" and 10 being "very satisfied".

Commuters were most satisfied with safety for both options - although taxis were rated lower at 7.8, compared to private-hire cars, at 8.2.

Private-hire services beat taxis the most in their ease of booking, scoring 8.1 over the taxis' 7.2.

On the whole, the respondents rated both taxis and private-hire cars - what the PTC calls point-to-point transport services - a favourable 7.7 out of 10.

PTC's chairman Richard Magnus said in a blog post: "Disruptive business models and technologies, such as Uber, Grab and third party taxi-booking apps, have caused an upheaval in the point-to-point transport services landscape.

"Taxi companies and taxi drivers have responded by upping their game and raising their service standards. Commuters have benefited from this competition," Mr Magnus added.

A total of 1,526 taxi and private-hire car users aged 15 years and above were interviewed from August 13 to 28 last year (2016), at 30 locations in Singapore.

Besides satisfaction, the survey participants were also required to rate how important each of the attributes were.

This created a weightage to each of the satisfaction ratings, to derive the overall mean satisfaction score. This score was in turn weighted by the estimated usage proportion.

The PTC said that its study found that out of all rides taken by respondents over a seven day period, about half were private-hire car rides while the other half were taxi rides.

"As taxi ridership has only fallen marginally over the past few years, this implies that the majority of the private hire car trips are likely to be catering to new or unmet demand," the PTC said.

Taxi ridership has fallen from an average daily ridership of 967,000 in 2013 to 954,000 in 2016.