Singapore taxi companies like TransCab and ComfortDelgro are charting millions of losses every month from un-hired taxis as more taxi drivers leave for Grabtaxi and Uber. As many as 800 un-hired taxis could be found from one of TransCab’s yards and according to the Land Transport Authority, the unoccupancy rate is 3.8%.
The phenomenon is resulted from uncompetitive hiring regulations from Singapore taxi companies like imposing a flat rental as much as S$180 a day, S$2,000 upfront penalty payment when accidents happene, a taxi vocational license and a 250km daily quota.
Compared with Uber and Grabtaxi, there is no such hassle. Uber and Grabtaxi drivers do not require a taxi sign on its roof and they have access to the Malaysian market by ferrying passengers across the Causeway. Rental is also nearly three times cheaper and go as low as S$60 a day as compared to ComfortDelgro and Transcab “exploitation” rate. Instead of making 20 trips a day, an Uber or Grabtaxi driver just need to make 8 trips a day to earn the same wages, hence freeing up more family time.
Despite Uber and Grabtaxi’s entry into the market, Singapore commuters are still safely served with no change in safety records. The Singapore government is however going protectionist and clamp down on the two companies due to “unfair” competition, according to newly-elected Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.