ComfortDelGro, Singapore’s largest taxi operator, managing over 8,900 taxis under the Comfort and CityCab brands, comprising about 60 percent of the nation’s taxi fleet, has announced an impending increase in cab fares. This adjustment is expected to have a significant impact on commuters due to the company’s extensive reach.
The decision to raise the flagdown fare and other surcharges was disclosed on December 6 by ComfortDelGro. The motive behind this fare revision is to assist taxi drivers in offsetting heightened operational expenses attributed to the surge in fuel prices, escalating inflation rates, and the anticipated Goods and Services Tax (GST) hike.
According to ComfortDelGro, the estimated fare for a 10-kilometer off-peak regular taxi journey is set to witness a 6.8 percent increase, translating to S$0.94, elevating the fare from S$13.80 to S$14.74. While flagdown fares for limousine taxis remain unchanged, distances, and waiting time fares experience a marginal increment from S$0.35 to S$0.36.
This fare adjustment encompasses all metered fare trips, including those made through the CDG Zig app and other ride-hailing platforms. The revised fares took effect from 6 am last December 13.
PEAK HOUR SURCHARGE
In addition to the fare increase, a new peak hour surcharge will be introduced from 10:00 am to 1:59 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. The definition of “evening peak hour” will also be extended by an hour, now spanning from 5:00 pm to 11:59 pm, applicable from Monday through Sunday, including public holidays. This peak hour surcharge amounts to 25 percent of the metered fare.
Trans-cab and other taxi services such as Strides Premier and Prime Taxi have announced their alignment with ComfortDelGro’s fare adjustments. These taxis shall implement the new weekend peak-hour surcharge and extend the evening peak-hour surcharge by one hour, with the changes set to take effect concurrently from December 13.
UPCOMING GST INCREASE CONCERNS
The National Taxi Association (NTA), which ComfortDelGro consulted before proposing the fare adjustments, expressed its support for the move. NTA adviser Yeo Wan Ling acknowledged the challenges faced by taxi drivers in coping with rising costs and emphasized the importance of this fare adjustment in aiding drivers dealing with increased living and operating expenses.
The upcoming GST increase to 9 percent on January 1, 2024, is an additional concern for taxi operators as it impacts various operational aspects, including rental, food, and parking expenses. Yeo Wan Ling highlighted that the fare increase would contribute to higher take-home pay for taxi drivers, offering timely relief from the impending GST hike and supporting them in meeting their financial obligations and providing for their families. The fare adjustment is seen as a welcome measure that addresses the current challenges faced by cabbies, providing both relief and support.
How will these affect the commuters in the long run?