Sunday, October 4, 2009

Re-structure of Taxi Service

I suggest the taxi service be restructured as follows:

a) Standard service - managed by LTA. Taxis offering standard service can pick passengers at taxi stands. Standard flag down rate, distance rate and peak period surcharge. Booking of taxis through a common call center controlled by LTA but outsourced to a service provider.

b)Local service - managed by LTA. Taxis can operate within a specific town. For short distance travel.

c) Premium service - managed by each individual company. Customers call their call center of the individual company to book for a taxi. The rates and conditions will be determined by each company.

LTA can change the terms of the standard service depending on the market demand and supply. If the rates are too low, there will be less taxis available and longer waiting time. If the rates are too high, there will be less customers and taxis have to wait (or they can rely on their taxi company's premium service.

This is market sensitive and helps to promote a free market for the standard and premium service. The premium service has to compete with the standard service to attract its customers. Competition works best when there is clarity in the market on the terms of service.

Tan Kin Lian

Give your views in this survey.


  1. An interesting service that aims to make things better for both drivers and passengers:
    (Coming this November, starting in SF and then rolling globally.)

  2. I think it is time we do away with things like 'premium service'. To cut the chase, we should abolish a booking fee when calling for cabs. In my opinion, this is a win-win situation for both the passenger and cabby - the demand brings the supply to where it is needed.

    It is getting increasingly frustrating to hitch a cab in town during certain timings at night at the taxi stands. Cabs are not picking up fares at these places, even though there are clearly empty cabs around. Most of the fare picked up at the stands are cabs 'on call'.

    Suppose there is no booking fee, passengers will have no reservations in using the service. For the cabbies, they will have an option which tells them where the business is, with less wasted trips. Likewise, they will be more inclined to compete for the business unlike the current situation where they can choose to wait for the kill (ie. paid booking fee).


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