SINGAPORE: ComfortDelGro, one of Singapore’s leading taxi operators, has announced an increase in regular taxi fares effective next Wednesday (13 Dec). The adjustments include hikes to the starting fare, distance charges, and waiting fees, and an extension of peak hour surcharge periods.

The starting fare for ordinary taxis will experience an increase, ranging between S$4.40 and S$4.80. For distances less than 10 kilometres, the price will rise by 1 cent to 0.26 cents for every 400 meters travelled. Waiting fees will increase by 1 point to 0.26 cents every 45 seconds. This means that, during non-peak hours, a 10-kilometre taxi ride is expected to increase by 0.94 cents, equating to a 6.8 per cent increase from current charges.

During evening peak hours, the surcharge period will be extended by one hour, from 5pm until 11.59pm. Additionally, new surcharge periods will be implemented on weekends and public holidays, from 10am to 1.59pm.

ComfortDelGro has attributed this fare adjustment to the surge in fuel prices, high inflation rates, and the impending increase in the Goods and Services Tax.

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Members of the public have expressed concerns over the fare hikes. One individual told Channel 8 news, “Fifty cents is a lot, especially if you sit close (distance); fifty cents is almost 10%.” Another shared, “Taking a taxi is already very expensive now, but sometimes we still have to take a taxi if there is really no other way.”

Despite the concerns, some members of the public believe that the increased fares might not significantly impact the number of rides. One interviewee stated, “I don’t think the number of rides will decrease because of the fare hikes. Sometimes you are really in a hurry and need your own seat, especially in the current rainy season.”

ComfortDelGro’s decision to raise prices has reportedly prompted other taxi operators to follow suit. According to Channel 8, other taxi operators have plans to extend their surcharge periods and adjust fares. They contend that these adjustments are necessary to assist taxi drivers in coping with the mounting pressure of rising costs.