Photo vacant taxis in ComfortDelgro garage from Today

According to the latest statistics by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the number of unhired taxi rate has hit a historical high of 9.8% in 2017. The pace of the increase has also hastened in recent years:

Period Average Unhired Rate
Jan – Dec 2014 2.10%
Jan – Dec 2015 4.20%
Jan – Dec 2016 6.20%
Jan – Aug 2017 9.80%

Singapore’s largest taxi company, ComfortDelgro, is the hardest hit with its fleet dropping from 12,317 at Jan 2017 to only 11,063 taxis as of Sep 2017. All taxi companies saw a decline in taxi hiring as taxi drivers turn to car-hiring applications like Grab and Uber.

Compared to taxis driving, the two car-hiring applications offer a similar car booking operation model at a significantly cheaper rental fees which was formerly monopolised by the taxi corporations. Registration with Grab and Uber also take merely an hour compared to getting a taxis vocational license that takes more than 2 weeks.

The technology disruption is welcomed by both passengers and drivers, with the only sulking party being taxis corporations who not only saw their middleman profits slashed, the major taxis companies are sitting on losses as taxis sat idle in their garage.