By: Kheng-Liang Tan
Facebook user William Lee – who is understood to be a taxi driver – uploaded a video of another taxi driver eating a sandwich at a traffic light in what appared to be her lunch.
His post eventially resulted in netizens questioning over how large the government was disconnected with the ground.
In recent times, many taxi drivers are unhappy about how consumers are switching to private car services such as Grab and Uber. Currently, there are about 25,000 private hire cars plying the roads compared to about 28,000 taxis.
Many taxi drivers have gone on to call for government legislation on this matter but a different mindset seems to be prevalent within the government.
Just last week, Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng said in Parliament that taxi drivers were now taking home 5% more in earnings due to decrease in fuel prices.
However, many taxi drivers seemed to disagree with the report, saying that their earnings have instead dropped.
In direct response to the claims, Taxi Driver Richard Wen said on the Singapore Taxi Driver Facebook group that he now has to drive for 10 to 11 hours just to match his previous earnings at 8 hours. Also, he now only gets 15 trips compared to 20-plus in the past.
A second taxi driver said in jest and scarcasm that this was that the government meant when earnings of taxi drivers have gone up instead.
Furthermore, there was no consideration about rentals which result in an entirely different picture. For example, the new Hyundai i40 taxis have a rental rate of $140 a day which is higher than the $100 for the older Sonata models.
Another taxi driver had previously said that even though there was a higher flag-down fare of $0.50, this was insufficient to cover the increase in rental considering that he takes about 20 passengers a day.
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