Senior Straits Times Transport journalist, Christopher Tan, believes he has found the answer to why there are always a shortage of taxis during peak hours especially on rainy days – they are busy gambling. In his article titled “Where are the cabs when you need them?”, he claimed that on Friday nights, many taxi drivers are busy gambling at the betting centres:
“On horse-racing days – Fridays and weekends – carparks at satellite betting centres are also filled with taxis. There are 10 such centres, and the most popular one is in Bukit Merah. A recent check revealed more than 50 cabs were parked there between 6pm and 7pm on a Friday.”
The Straits Times journalist later quoted several management executives from different mainstream taxi companies like Prime, Premier and TransCab who agreed with his assertions, and only quoted one taxi driver who was gambling at the Singapore Casino.
However, according to taxi drivers States Times Review spoke to, most of them avoid driving on a rainy day because it is more likely to have an accident and that they cannot afford to have their cars sent for repairs even for a few days. During peak hours, taxi drivers usually have advanced bookings and one taxi driver, on the conditions of anonymity, said that it is absurd to suggest taxi drivers avoid picking up customers during the profitable peak period when they are already avoiding meal times during the peak period.
The Singapore Straits Times is ranked 154th in press freedom and under the stringent jurisdiction of the Singapore censorship ministry, the Ministry of Communications and Information.
You may view The Straits Times article here.