Taxi fare rises: Notice the attempt at emotional blackmail?

In Media on 13/12/2011 at 5:50 am

No-one believes Delgro’s and the National Taxi Association’s claims that the taxi fare increases are meant to help taxi drivers.  Stockbrokers are already factoring into their forecasts, the assumption that sometime soon, Delgro will increase the rentals it charges taxi drivers.

So it wasn’t that surprising that yesterday, the constructive, nation-building ST carried a big headlined article on the front of its “Home” section on how “peanutty” were the earnings of the average taxi driver.  Of course, it wasn’t written that way. The headline and story were about how an enterprising taxi driver can take home S$3,000 a month. The sub- text was, however, two-fold:

— S$3,000 wasn’t that much, taking into account the long hours, worked; and

— most tax- drivers took home S$1,500. “Peanuts” by any reasonable standard. But then how come taxi drivers “cheery pick” their customers? They can’t be that poorly paid? Read this on how they “cheery pick” customers by gaming the system.

The message at this time of the year, when charities round the world, resort to emotional blackmail to part consumers from their cash, is, “Spare the taxi drivers some money, don’t complain”.

This is a variant of the government’s much vaunted tripartitism at work. Usually the parties are the government, the employers and the NTUC. Here the parties are Delgro, SPH and the taxi drivers out to con the public.

No wonder SPH, and Delgro are good dividend-paying stocks.

Update on 12 December 2011 at 9.55am

Notice how the ST and other local media are playing down the drop in the number of people taking taxis? The cabbies they are quoting are talking rubbish. They notice the drop, blame it on the fare rises, but then say its the school hols. Sigh.

  1. Too bad. 60% Sinkies voted for PAP. So you deserve it. Just pay. And be happy.

    Merry Xmas.

    and Happy New Year.

  2. They stole a page from PAP on increasing GST to “help” the poor.

    Now where are the regulators on pricing collusion in broad daylight?

  3. […] by Dr Chan Joon Yee: How Come Like This Then Like That? – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Taxi fare rises: Notice the attampt at emotional blackmail? – Reflections On Change: Why ComfortDelGro Revised Its Taxi Fares – SpotlightOnSingapore: SMRT […]

  4. Notice how they tactically placed the fair hike on during the December holidays and blamed it on the holidays? That’s where I feel that they are wrong, really.

    I’m sure by now everybody knows that it is exactly during the school holidays, especially the December holidays is when business is generally good. Many take leave on this period to be together with their family, go for outings and breathers to de-stress themselves be it shopping for Christmas presents or early preparations for the upcoming Lunar New Year next month. I’m sure this is when most will flag a cab rather than taking the bus or trains to escape the feeling of sardines in a can. So you can’t actually blame it on the holidays.

  5. Disclosure: I only take taxis when it is late at night or when I am tired out by the day – i.e. not very often.

    The people I actually have sympathy for in this whole fiasco are the taxi drivers who actually depend on it as a livelihood and not something to pass their retirement years.

    SPH’s tone is very strange – like we are supposed to pity on the taxi drivers and continue to take taxis, while ignoring the fact that the decision was made unilaterally by the dominant taxi operator in Singapore. I will await SPH’s silence when taxi drivers begin to cry out against increased rentals when the “inevitable” comes.

    To me, this is just another undesirable facet of the state-capitalist octopus which controls Singapore. Singaporeans already know this – after every election, everything goes up. But due to learned helplessness, we keep on voting for more suffering.

    We got the government we deserve.

  6. Lets assume for the moment that taxi drivers, by and large, know what they are doing and are maximising/optimising their take-home pay through cherry-picking.

    Who are you to say that if they give up cherry-picking, they will do better? Indeed, we may conclude that if they don’t cherry-pick, they may earn even less?

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