Are taxi companies profiting at the expense of taxi drivers’ health?

By: Calvin Koh

Many people had joined the ranks of Taxi Drivers because they were either retrenched by their companies and and/or can’t find a similar job in their field yet still need to have a job to feed their family and their loved ones.

Before the days of Uber and Grab, taxi operators operated like an oligopoly and charged taxi uncles about $120 to $140 rental a day. This will add up to about $4000 a month or $50k a year! This essentially means Taxi operators can break even in about 3 years max) which is considered very very profitable!

Today, many Uber/Grab drivers pay only $50-$60 in daily rental, so why shouldn’t taxi operators be charging $50-$60 rental per day instead?

Understand that most hardworking taxi driver only take home about $2k plus a month. These extra $1k plus will meant a lot to that family! (Maybe our rich Ministers may not understand how much a $1000 plus extra earning meant to a family, but am sure many taxi uncles will agree with me!)

This will help a group of 28,000 (actual figure to be re-confirmed) or more taxi driver on the road and enable them to earn $3000 to $3k plus every month instead of $2k plus! Many of our taxi drivers are over the age of 50 but are still working longer hours just to bring home a bit more bread for their family.

Making them feel fatigue and pressurizing them too much is not only no good for taxi driver’s health and welfare, but also poses a higher danger to other road users as well.

Even if a company that charges $50-$60 per day for taxi rental, they can easily make good profit as we’ll. We can look into extending the taxi life by another 2-3 years instead of the current 7 years that taxi operators keep their fleet on the road.

Interestingly, Taxis were previously operated under NTUC comfort? For the longest time, anyone been really fighting for these taxi drivers’ interest?


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