I think taxi drivers in Singapore are the most freaking idiotic unreasonable workers in the whole of Singapore. They claimed they are underpaid, has to drive long hours and pay big bucks to the taxi companies and cannot make a living. Yet all of us who have ever taken taxis will know that getting a taxi is like striking 4-D. Where is the taxi when you need one? There are plenty of taxis all right but all of them are forever either on calls or changing shift and 9 times out of 10, they are not going in the direction that you want to go.
|Photo from http://fuchsia.com.sg/|
Just today I was trying to catch a cab from the taxi stand at Cecil Street. It was 5.20 pm. There were a lot of cabs calling at the taxi stand. In fact I could describe it as continuous. I was like about fifth in the queue. Yet I only managed to get onto a cab after more than 20 minutes of waiting. Why? Because every freaking cab that came had either a changing shift sign displayed with a destination that was not anywhere near where I was going. Those that don't have a changing shift displayed was no better. The driver rolled down the window ask where and pick and choose. It was like a bladdy mad auction with al the passengers at the queue shouting out their destination. And they don't even bother to pick up those going near their way. One cabby had a sign displaying Bugis. Other passengers in the queue wanted to go to Garden by the Bay. A small detour but no he didn't want to ferry them. Another had a sign for Tampines. A passenger wanted to go Bugis. No dealt! I wanted to go Thomson. This guy was going Yishun. Also no!
When I finally managed to get on board, I spoke to the driver. He told me he there are more than 100,000 taxi vocational licence issued and more than 20000 taxis. On that count, there should be more than enough taxis to meet the need of Singapore? Right? Wrong!
My analysis of taxi drivers are that they (and here I dare say the majority) drive not for the money but to pass times and do not need the income from the driving. If not, why are they changing shift when it is peak hour. Isn't that the best time to earn more money, what with all the various surcharge. Changing shift will involves topping up the car, washing it, handing it over to the relief driver - easily a duration of at least 1 hour or more. In any other retail line, the staff will get their breaks during the off peak hours and not during the peak because very simply that is the busiest and by implication the most profitable time zone. And just look at how many taxi drivers prefer to queue up at the airport for the hope of a long haul rather than drive to nearby malls to pick up fares. And don't get me going on the disappearing drivers during the bewitching hours of 10 pm to midnight and rainy days!
If driving a taxi is really that difficult to make money, can some bladdy drivers out there enlighten me why it is so difficult to get one and why are taxi drivers so bladdy picky?