Just two weeks after it said that it has no plans to hike cab fares for the time being, Strides Premier Taxi has announced that it will mirror Comfort DelGro’s recent fare adjustments and increase the starting fare of all taxis by 50 cents.

Starting from next Friday (Dec 29), the starting fare of ordinary Strides Premier taxis will be increased to $4.60, while the luxury fleet will impose a starting fare of $4.80. The driving distance charge and waiting fee will also increase by 1 cent to 26 cents. On Dec 13, Strides Premier also extended evening surcharge hours.

The company’s moves come after Comfort DelGro unveiled a slew of fare adjustments and peak hour extensions, in what it said was a bid to help drivers cope with rising cost pressures.

Strides Premier Taxi, which recently launched a free WiFi service in its vehicles as well as a new hybrid vehicle model, seems to have backtracked on its earlier claim that it has no plan to increase fares for the time being.

On 9 Dec, company CEO and ruling party MP Ang Wei Neng told Channel 8 news said that there were currently no plans to increase the number of taxis to be consistent with other taxi operators.

He added, “Regarding the adjustment of departure fares and driving distance charges, we are paying close attention to the matter to see what opinions the passengers and taxi drivers have. We have not yet raised the fares.”

The latest decision to hike fares before the year is even out has raised eyebrows at Strides Premier’s expediency in analyzing the opinions of passengers and drivers.

Strides Premier became Singapore’s second-largest taxi operator, earlier this year, after Premier Taxis and Strides Taxis merged.

As part of the merger, a new joint venture company, Strides Premier Pte Ltd, was formed to hold the merged business. Strides Holdings, wholly owned by SMRT, own the majority stake in the new entity, while Premier Corporation Pte Ltd and BS Investors Pte Ltd jointly hold the remaining stake.

In April, People’s Action Party MP Ang Wei Neng was selected as chief executive. Mr Ang previously served as CEO of Comfort DelGro – Strides Premier’s biggest competitor.

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