ComfortDelGro’s idle taxi rate of 28.5%



Letter to the editor

Hi The Independent,

I really enjoy reading your website because of the fresh perspective you often bring when you report any news. So I did some calculations on ComfortDelGro’s empty taxis recently and thought you would be interested in it.

It was recently reported that the taxi industry in Singapore has an idle rate of 9.1%, I think this figure could possibly be higher now, especially for ComfortDelGro.

Based on LTA’s latest figures, ComfortDelGro has 15472 Comfort and CityCab taxis in their fleet. Taking the idle rate of 9.1%, that adds up to around 1408 cabs.

However, TODAY recently reported that more than 3,000 ComfortDelGro cabbies have expressed interest in joining Grab. This means that the number of idle cabs under their belt could go up to at least 4408. This also means that ComfortDelGro could possibly have a new idle rate of 28.5%.

It is also reported that the economics of the taxi business here is such that the costs of having 1 idle taxi requires about 7 hired taxis to cover. With the new idle rate, this means that ComfortDelGro has around 1 idle taxi to 3 hired taxis, and they could be in trouble.

Anyway, just thought all the entrance of Grab/Uber is making things very interesting for the taxi industry, esp ComfortDelGro, in Singapore.

Best regards,
William Tan

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    • Base on that rates your friend is driving new car less then 1 year. But now different story. They have offer discount to current driver between $5 to $10 daily. Also confirm will not ban you if yoi so not accept thia call booking. For Grab they will ban you 2 weeks. So no call and cannot take street customers. How rental continue pay

  1. Comfort is one of the worst taxi company. They degraded their driver/s all the time thinking their China policies towards driver/s is full proof in Singapore. So blinded even refusing to listen to their driver/s difficulty, offering little assistant.

    • Wait till they joined Grab where the office staff belittle u and the sales staff con you .
      Make u sign agreement but you fo not have a copy. N when they adjust their incentive after you sign for a year. You will be told that it is in the agreement. You will not be able to talk to senior staff. You cannot return the car because u sign one year

  2. Management are sleeping didn’t knows what happened is not the levy problem driver can pay .60 cent for grab call levy is the system problem many driver are complaining about the bid problem

  3. I would like to comment to this. Comfort and Grab belongs to the same boss.
    Right hand past to the right, what’s the difference?
    Result? COE will shoot up like “rockets.”

  4. If the writer is able to impute a monthly rental rate, then he can work out the total revenue loss to ComfortDelGro. Working off their AR, you can guesstimate on a running basis, drop in annual revenue and profits. Assuming constancy eg PER, you will figure out possible share price range. In fact, their share price had fallen quite a bit. And in fact, if they lose more bid for contract bus to UK companies, then there would be greater revenue loss. Although I am unsure if these will result in profit loss. This is because many bus routes are not profitable. But I think whatever they do, it might be a bit too late.

  5. The fix that our taxi companies find themselves in today, ie the disruption from Uber and Grab is not unique. Indeed, their position is not unlike that faced by the taxicabs of New York City. Both the NY and SG transports are highly regulated. In NY, you have the canary yellow and the apple green. Private companies licensed by the NY City Taxi n Limousine Commission, besides other for hire vehicles. Self-own or rental. Both have the same fare structure. In NY, taxi patronage has declined since 2011 due to competition from ride share services Uber and Lyft. Grouses, eg earnings, from their taxi drivers then are echoed here today. Over the years, their numbers have fallen, taxis and drivers. In Singapore, you have Grab in 2013 and Uber in 2014. Given similar parameters, and the lessons identical, the hardships of our drivers are not unlike their counter parts in NY. Perhaps the dis-similarity is the salaries of the CEOs, NY and SG. Therefore, one can say that the response of the CEOs are slow and wanting and that it leaves the taxi drivers in suspend or indecision, with consumers being the winner.

  6. Served them right. I’ve no sympathy for Comfort, Citicab or SMRT. In the heyday, they took us for ransoms when it is almost midnight. Most of the drivers went hiding before past midnight in order to get an extra surcharge. Some pick n choose customers n their freaking head grows big. Even now most drivers are like that. It’s the same as the food business. When their business takes the plunges…I don’t feel any sorry or sympathy for them all. Human must always learn to be humble.

  7. I feel sorry for all the old taxi uncles who aren’t used to using gps and are worried about driving and using apps or that they can’t read. Sad that they have to pay $140/day for hire and although their diesel is cheaper, they still incur more cost. They struggle and they are old and need the form of livelihood. They have to drive for 12 hours at least and they don’t make all that much to be able to keep the cab. They can’t even afford to have holidays or off days cos they still have to pay $140/day which is cost that needs to be covered.

  8. The result of overpopulation. More commuters, more spoilt n choosy taxi drivers, Uber/grab come in, commuters decide to change n now taxis in a fix.

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