Satisfaction with taxis and private-hire cars in S'pore improved last year: Survey

Pricing remained the key deciding factor for whether commuters chose to take taxis or private-hire cars.
Pricing remained the key deciding factor for whether commuters chose to take taxis or private-hire cars.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Overall satisfaction with taxis and private-hire car services continued to tick upwards last year, according to an annual survey commissioned by the Public Transport Council (PTC).

Results released on Tuesday (Feb 9) showed that mean satisfaction scores for point-to-point services, which include both taxis and private-hire cars, rose across the board.

Pricing remained the key deciding factor for whether commuters chose to take taxis or private-hire cars. The survey also found that the vast majority of commuters - 96.8 per cent of those surveyed - had no complaints about their most recent rides.

However, the proportion of commuters satisfied with both transport services fell marginally last year from 99.3 per cent in 2019 and 99.2 per cent in 2018.

The survey, which was conducted online instead of face to face because of the Covid-19 pandemic, saw a total of 5,741 commuters rating taxi and private-hire car services based on seven attributes on a scale of one to 10.

The attributes were: waiting time; ease of booking; service information; ride comfort; the driver's knowledge of routes; customer service provided by the driver; and the safety of the service. Those who took taxis also rated their satisfaction with taxi stand accessibility

The commuters, who were polled between Aug 3 and Aug 31 last year, were deemed satisfied if they gave a score of six and above.

The respondents also had to rate the importance of each attribute to them, and their ratings for each were then weighted accordingly to give their overall satisfaction score.

Overall, commuters gave point-to-point services an average score of 8.4, up from 8.1 in 2019 and 7.9 in 2018.

Satisfaction in taxi services saw a similar increase, with commuters giving an average score of 8.5 last year, up from 8.1 in 2019 and 7.9 in 2018.

While fewer commuters were satisfied with taxi services compared with 2019, those who were happy with their cab rides gave higher scores, with marked improvements in ratings for ride comfort and service information.

Both categories saw mean scores go up by more than half a point.

Meanwhile, private-hire car services were also rated higher last year compared with 2019, though the improvement was slight.

Commuters gave a mean score of 8.3, from 8.2 in 2019 and 7.9 in 2018.

Scores for attributes such as safety and the level of service provided by private-hire car drivers remained consistent, the PTC said, with ease of booking, satisfaction with the service information provided and ride comfort helping to pull up the overall score.

However, longer waiting times were a bugbear for some private-hire car users as the score in that category dipped from 8.0 in 2019 to 7.8 last year.

It was the only attribute across both transport services that saw a decline.