Drivers' earnings up, cab waiting times down: Raymond Lim
By Jermyn Chow
THE recent taxi fare hike may have just put a lid on a cab crunch which was threatening to boil over.
If preliminary findings are anything to go by, Transport Minister Raymond Lim said the fare revision last month was 'effective' in meeting the increasing demand of taxis in the Central Business District (CBD).
Based on figures taken four weeks after the Dec 18 fare hike, Mr Lim said waiting times in the city area during peak hours have 'gone down substantially'.
Mr Lim revealed that commuters in the city only have to wait for up to 6 minutes for a cab, significantly less than the 5 to 22 minutes before the fare hike.
Waiting times at the Suntec City taxi stands - said to be the worst performing of the lot - have been cut drastically from 22 minutes to 4 minutes.
While some cabbies have complained that passengers are not flagging taxis, Mr Lim said their earnings have however gone up.
Based on figures provided by ComfortDelGro, Singapore's biggest taxi operator, cabbies are pocketing about $11 more a day, earning about $318.
Mr Lim was responding to questions from MP for Tampines GRC Ms Irene Ng and MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC Mr Baey Yam Keng in Parliament. Mr Lim also allayed Ms Ng's fears, saying that the extra surcharges for cabs plying the city areas would not pinch the supply in the suburbs. The Transport Minister assured the House that the Land Transport Authority would continue to monitor the situation over the next 3 to 4 months and work with taxi operators and associations.