Sunday 31 May 2015

Thank you Uber, GrabTaxi, Hailo and EasyTaxi.

I was flabbergasted after reading a news article in yesterday Straits Times with a heading… “Cabbies cry foul over rival drivers”.

In the first place, the news article reported mainly the opinions of a single person, Mr. Ang Hin Kee, who is NOT a cabby but an adviser of the National Taxi Association (NTA) and a Ang Mo Kio GRC, Member of Parliament. Undoubtedly, his views cannot be depictive of Singaporean cabbies in general. To me, he seems more like a spokesman of COMFORT which Temasek has an interest than of Singaporean cabbies.  

As a cabby, I would like to share with you my views in respond to his statements.

1.   Mr. Ang said “These companies are “creaming off profits” without having to meet the stringent requirements and standards the taxi industry has to meet”.

I shall break this statement into two parts.

Firstly, these “companies” refer to Uber, GrabTaxi, Hailo and EasyTaxi, that are Taxi Booking Apps providers.  

I think Mr. Ang is essentially saying that COMFORT is the only taxi operator whose profits from taxi booking is now being "creamed off" by these companies because others taxi operators like Premier, Transcab, SMRT or Prime are not affected as they inherently have very few taxi booking jobs to begin with. Consequently, my heading for the news article would instead be “COMFORT cry foul over transport providers app”.

By the way, how much is COMFORT estimated earning from taxi bookings before competition?.

Assuming each COMFORT taxi driver does an average of 10 booking jobs a day (24 hours) and COMFORT deduct 30 cents per job from their driver. Therefore, COMFORT earns $3 per taxi per day.

COMFORT has the largest fleet of about 16,000 taxis. Assuming 80% of their taxis are active on the road, therefore, COMFORT earns $3 x 12,800 taxis = $38,400 per day. Multiply that with 365 days. Wow! $14 millions annually.

COMFORT is now losing about 25% of booking jobs to these app providers. i.e. about $3.5 million per year. And this lose will surely increase when 3rd party booking apps becomes more popular with commuters. This "threat" is real as COMFORT is now occasionally absorbing the 30 cents surcharge that they previously charge their drivers. In offering this minor incentive, they hope their drivers would concentrate on doing COMFORT call bookings instead of their rivals.

Is COMFORT cabbies earning affected by these companies?

Yes, but in a positive way. The 3rd party taxi booking apps has turned out to be the best things that ever happened to Singaporean cabbies. Opportunities and options to earn more are open to all taxi drivers. Many COMFORT cabbies are using the 3rd party apps to do more booking jobs and earn more especially when these companies enticed them with incentives. 

For example, Hailo is now giving an incentive of $160 for FIRST 40 jobs done between 1st.June to 15th June. And another $100 for every 20 jobs after the first 40. In a month, a driver can earn an extra $320 - $500.  Other transport app providers are also giving drivers incentives in various forms.

2. Mr. Ang's continuous statements:                   "It's an issue of a level playing......................thanks goodness, we've not had any major incident”.
 (His full statements are in a photo at the end of this post). 

Briefly, Mr. Ang is making lame excuses to kill off competitions from Uber and others. His various concerns and issues will soon be comprehensively addressed in LTA new rules and regulations for 3rd party taxis booking app and ride-matching services (LTA press release) .  

Now, to be fair to the reporter of this news article, Mr. Christopher Tan, he has pertinently highlighted an impending "tsunami" that will completely change the landscape of the taxi industry here.

The "tsunami" is the new breed of Uber drivers who use their own or rented private cars to ferry paying passengers through call bookings. Soon, Grabtaxi and other transport app providers will also be joining the fray. These innovative apps companies are effectively running a parallel taxi operation, albeit strictly through call booking only. They are not vying with cabbies as they are prohibited to pick-up flagging passengers from the streets.

Undeniably, they help to service "peak-hours or in " COMFORT's cabby-forsaken" landed estates areas like Bukit Timah, where people find it impossible to get taxis. They absolutely improve taxi availability for commuters island wide. Like hotel and travel agents booking app or online purchases portals, they are not parasites that lives on the hospitality of others but modern technological companies that provide a complimentary, convenience and useful service that consumers need. 

Nevertheless, licensed cabbies naturally felt their rice bowl are threatened as booking jobs that otherwise goes to them are now taken over by these "un-licensed" drivers. But in reality and practice, there are more booking jobs during rush hours than all drivers could cope. In any case, these "un-licensed" drivers do not compete with them for street flag-down jobs.

Presently, new rules and regulations are not in place yet to address safety and security issues of commuters using these alternative taxi services. Reliability and accountability of these transport app provider are also pending. However, once LTA's all-embracing controls are fully implemented, taxi commuters' confidence and trust in these companies will rocket. And like in a G.E., scare tactics to avoid Uber or others would not work.

In this situation, Uber will creates a foothold in the taxi community after its popularity with customers grows. Taxi operators like COMFORT are very worried because the Uber business model of getting a taxi or ride-matched car via an app is superior to having to call them for one on the phone and wait for it to show up, if it shows up at all. 

But taxi drivers are not worried. Why?  

Because taxi drivers are hirer of taxis not owner. Therefore, they can easily defect to Uber as their drivers or drives their own car using Uber app, if it makes economic sense to do so or for other reasons. Like room renter who disappear from their units in the middle of the night, the drivers can desert the taxi operator freely. And like the saying goes, "If you can't beat them, join them!".

Please allow me to make a simplistic comparison to check whether it makes economic sense to desert COMFORT to join Uber. 

COMFORT Sonata                    Uber Used Aries
Daily Rental: $106.00                            $55.00
Fuel Cost (250km): $30.00                    $30.00*
Misc Expenses: $4.00                            $  4.00
Total Cost: $140.00                                $89.00
Fare Collection: $230.00                        $230.00
Company commission: $00.00               -$  46.00                                                  (20% of Collection)
Nett Income: $90.00                              $95.00**
(* Cheaper fuel from JB.)           
(** Exclude Incentives)  
If my estimation is accurate, it means a driver can earn more with Uber/GrabCar. Needless to say, a Uber driver could earn much more if he use his own car as the rental cost is not in the equation.

This is a disaster scenario for taxi owners like COMFORT. It is an expensive operation to constantly keep a large fleet of taxis on the streets of Singapore. COMFORT's main source of revenue is what they receive from the rental fees of drivers, so if too many cabs stand empty for too long, COMFORT will not only had their profits "creamed off" but will face bankruptcy.

What does this all mean for the Singaporean cabbies?. It means hallelujah, leverage has arrived at last. It has arrived not through feeble threats of strikes or work stoppages, but through competition for the services of drivers. 

Now, for the first time ever, taxi operators will have to give serious consideration to how their actions affect the lives of their drivers. If they are wise, they should think of how to improve the working conditions of their drivers - like reducing the 250 km minimum mileage, high rental, indiscriminate sacking, repair costs and so on.

Hey, COMFORT, do you want your drivers to desert you ?. The days of your authoritarian, arrogant, uncaring and high-handed attitudes towards your drivers need to change. Remember, they are your partners not employees!

How about doing some surveys?

Find out what's really needed and wanted from the drivers.

And then give them some good reasons to stick with you or you prefer to sack them for frivolous reasons despite the fact that many of your drivers had been your royal partners for more than 20 years?.

A relevent quote from Nokia sad demise.

1. The advantage you have yesterday, will be replaced by the trends of tomorrow. You don’t have to do anything wrong, as long as your competitors catch the wave and do it RIGHT, you can lose out and fail.
  1. To change and improve yourself is giving yourself a second chance. To be forced by others to change, is like being discarded.
Those who refuse to learn & improve, will definitely one day become redundant & not relevant to the industry. They will learn the lesson in a hard & expensive way.

By the way, I am mulling to be a Uber-X driver as I prefer to drive less mileage and hours with hopefully a survival income. 


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

will rules be amended to allow taxi co. to hire foreigners ?

Diary of a Singaorean Cabby said...

Hi, John Wee,

Taxi operators are private enterprises that lease out their taxis only to drivers who has a Taxi Vocational License. The issuing authority of this TVL is LTA (Land Transport Authority who set the rules as to who is allowed to apply for a TVL. Presently, only Singaporean citizens are allowed to apply for a TVL and about 100,000 citizens are VTL holders.

This massive numbers of TVL holders are also voters and therefore, this "G" is aware their interest together with their voting family members interest must be "safeguarded". Hence, in the foreseeable future, I think foreigners will not be allowed to apply for a TVL.

However, in a situation when thousands of taxis are idling in garage without Singaporean drivers or when COMFORT's & Temasek's bottom line are threatened, then LTA will change their mind and open the floodgate to foreigners like in other industries. Here again, whoever is in power calls the shots.

fellow cabby said...

Your assumptions on UberX earnings are way off. More likely half of what you stated. That's because they can't take street hails and there are simply not enough calls. What's more, they have to race to town after dropping pax in ulu or heartland HDb estates. So fuel cost is big.

Go see the Uber Driver FB page. More accurate info from real drivers. Not figures plucked from the air.

Diary of a Singaorean Cabby said...

Hi, Fellow Cabby,

Thanks for your comments.

Its true that my assumptions could be wrong but my figures were certainly not plucked from the air. Every UberX driver has their own "figures" to work with. If a UberX driver don't make money, they would leave the "job" hurriedly.

Its also true that booking jobs are not in abundance and UberX drivers are not allowed to do flag-down street jobs. Therefore, a UberX driver's fare collections is lower than a normal TD. But like night shift TD, every driver needs to get into city areas where the jobs are and inevitably fuel cost is affected.

However, unlike a normal TD who cruise to hunt for customers, a UberX driver stays stationary to wait for booking jobs, thus his fuel cost is lower. If given a choice, I prefer a driving job that pays almost the same with LESS work and controls.

Wish you Good Luck, Buddy,

James Lim

fellow cabby said...

Thanks James. Was considering UberX earlier on but when I talked to some drivers at their Martin Rd office that time, I was wary. One guy told me he did an average of 7-10 jobs daily and he has to drive long hours like a cabby. Also problems with ERP rebate and ratings. Another guy was their appealing to be re-instated because his rating was no good and was suspended.

If we can do UberX with other similar services like Grabcar, then maybe that will become a viable alternative provided there is enough demand for calls.

Right now UberX drivers are surviving only because of the incentives that UberX dishes out. But once UberX get their critical mass of drivers, I think they will drop the incentives. Then we "chiak kah kee" liao.

fellow cabby said...

More proof here :

Driving UberX does not mean you drive less hours, in fact, you may have to drive longer hours just to make the same you make as a taxi driver...

Diary of a Singaorean Cabby said...

Hi, fellow cabby,

I guess what you lamented are correct. Presently, not enough call jobs, rating, EPR, suspension and other issues. I hope when GrabTaxi gets into the fray to provide similar service like UberX, hopefully all these critical issues will be resolved. Heard GrabTaxi is rolling about 600 rental car soon and intend to increase to 2000 by year end. Hope they could provide more jobs like their present normal cab booking system which is most popular with commuters in Singapore. Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

Hi James,

Both Uber, GrabTaxi and various organisation today, are mostly in the business of making money of others. They will level a management fee, and simply don't care about the working conditions

Do note that GrabTaxi (was MyTeksi in Malaysia), Temasek group did a massive investment into Grab Taxi.

We should go back to the old days (Just like in HKG now), where taxis are owned by the drivers, and they operate it as a business, and need not pay any 'oversight lords', or people who leaches off your earning.

Uber direction will eventually be the same as another comfort delgro. The risk of the vehicle, COE, etc.. are all passed on to the drivers. They do not take any necessary risks.

This idea of the taxi app, was also started by Mr Tan Kin Lian

Boh Tong aka Luke Tan said...

James, thanks for sharing this article.

Ong Eng Chuan said...

We may be feeding the monster that will soon kill us. Since Grabcar and Uber allows foreigners to be registered as drivers,our supporting of Grabtaxi is just a manner of feeding a business entity that is designing a parallel taxi service that will break the last bastion for out of job Singaporean pmets. Think carefully what are you asking for.

Diary of a Singaorean Cabby said...

Hi, Mr. Ong,

Yes, if GrabTaxi, Uber or other app. operators allow foreigners to drive rental or own cars to compete with normal TD even for only call-booking jobs and this "G" condones it, the income of TD will be seriously threatened. I don't think PAP would allow such a destructive situation to evolve as the number of voters affected is significantly close to 200,000 with driver's family included. I'll boycott these app if they proceed to "kill the goose that lays the golden eggs".

Anonymous said...

Funny...everything also link to "G"...

Anonymous said...

Uber drivers cannot be making more than cabbies. The data quoted is wrong. First of all, Comfort drivers only pay half the rental as they have relief drivers, so rental is $54. Secondly, Uber drivers would not go to JB to top up as they have fill to 3/4 tank before they could go there. Which driver would want to make two trips to JB everyday just to save a bit? So they would be paying more for fuel as Comfort drivers use subsidized diesel. Thirdly Uber drivers cannot steal hail so income would be substantially less than Comfort drivers who have more bookings than they would handle during peak hours and could street hail during off-peak as well. Coupled with the fact that Uber drivers have to pay 20 percent commissions, Comfort drivers could easily see themselves making at least $100 more per day than Uber drivers. IF somehow Uber drivers are making comparable amount, it must be due to the fact that their company are desperate and are chipping in money temporarily to make it seem like worth it to join Uber. What is unknown to most people is there are not that many call bookings during off-peak hours. Also Uber drivers probably have to do back to city or airport empty car after dropping customer in areas like Choa Chu Kang and Woodlands.

Anonymous said...

I predict Uber would pull out of Singapore soon (from a few months to a few years). Their business model is less competitive. Uber drivers have to work longer hours and yet make less. They are chipping in money to make it seem like worth it. Once the incentives are taken away, Uber drivers would switch to regular taxi driving.

Diary of a Singaorean Cabby said...

Lets talk about "taxi driver protest" in Singapore. Will it (protest) happen in Singapore?. Yes, it will happen when UberX & GrabCar start to offer taxi fares that are very much cheaper than normal taxi rides. For example, if you book a UberX or GrabCar, which are private chauffeur cars and it cost only $20 from airport to Jurong whereas a normal taxi cost $30, which one will you take? Cheap price, reliable and good service will kill off all competition. When normal TD starts to lose passengers to UberX/GrabCar and their livelihood is threatened like in Malaysia now, then PAP sanctioned and orderly protest will take place. For me, when I can't beat them, I'll join them. Do you agree?
(MyTeksi drivers to go dark in protest of Uber, GrabCar at )

Fellow cabby said...

Join the dark side? No use lah, James. If taxi drivers are threaten, it does not follow that UberX are making more than these cabbies? The math is not zero sum.

That's because more & more drivers will join Uberx competing for calls. Plus the fact that Uber takes 20% & drivers have to use petrol & cant take street hails , the only winner is Uber.

Which means.... you will be jumping out of the frying pan & straight into the fire. Think about it

Anonymous said...

Well, I was once a TD and now UberX driver. Both are designed to screw you as they operate like any other businesses.

TD sucks because the providers put you under tight regulations having to work periodically at a selected fixed shift coupled with nasty unreasonable passengers to deal with.

UberX appears to be somewhat more flexible but they will screw you even harder. The guaranteed hourly income is designed to default you. The app will give you a booking at 7:58pm, go to Woodlands and no booking for the entire next hour, so you that don't qualify the incentive. So you make $0 from 8-9pm. Don't forget the fuel for the empty car back to city.

For those unaware, UberX bookings cannot see the destinations until trip start, it could be Lim Chu Kang cemetery!

Life is tough these days.

Cabily said...

1 point must be addressed seriously is lack of regulation and stringent rules towards Uber drivers. I can think of so many -ve about Uber that may happen in the future. Sure, Uber is good for now, that is because trouble hasnt surface yet.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I like to share a taxi income calculator found in

Hope that it is useful for SG cabbies.

Anonymous said...

I'm a driver for Uber, and I would like to clarify this that has been going around the Uber community.

Essentially, I think there are too many negative people everywhere we go, and someone have to take the blame for lack of income, long hours, or tedious work. In this case, we're talking about Uber and TD companies.

I am not a full time driver, and my driving hours are around 6 hours a night, from 7pm to 1am. On average, I hit about 8 to 10 trips. On good days, I get around 14 to 16.

An average, I get around $18 per trip, and that gives me minimum $140+ in any driving day (night). The highest fares I've gotten was $250 a night. My rental is $65. And we're talking about 6 hours here.

I have friend driving Uber, and even though he's a full-time driver, he's hitting (as told to me), an average of 7 to 10 trips a day, including driving day time. That doesn't make sense to me.

I have tried driving peak hours (7am to 11am), and the pings (booking notifications) usually don't stop. I would alight a passenger, and get the pings in 10 mins. It works out to be around 3 trips every 2 hours, so that's at least 6 trips from 7am to 11am. The reason I don't drive in the day is because I don't like the attitudes of people who are rushing to work. It makes me feel like I'm responsible for their punctuality, when they were the ones late for work.

It doesn't make sense to say that a typical driver following that hours will get the other 4 trips over the span of 6 hours (assuming as what they said - driving 10 to 12 hours a day). No logic in this.

I urge people to think logically before jumping on to the blame bandwagon just to find someone to blame for not making enough money. Sometimes we have to be responsible for ourselves, Uber, Grab, or TDs. Sure, it's not easy money. But if we don't answer to ourselves, no other companies will. Everyone for their own.

Jon Wang said...

Great opinion piece Mr Lim, I never even stopped to consider the arithmetic of being a cab driver in Singapore, and the comments in here are certainly insightful.

Anonymous said...

funny, my group of friends and me drive uber for 6 months now, we start from 6.30am to 11am and from 5pm to 1am (mon, tue, thur) and 5pm to 9pm and 11.30pm to 4am (wed, fri and sat). we have our own group of clients that will book thru us as they stay nearby our neighbourhood estate. What i'm saying is because, we know our client's timing, we usually are the one getting assigned to them (uber picks the nearest) which works out to be quiet a decent pay. usually avg we will hit about 14 to 18 jobs daily, 20 if we are lucky . of course, if you are asking how is this possible? The answer lies in the location and also where you are picking up your passenger and knowing their habits (roughly when they leave for work, if helps if you actually take the time to communicate with them and take notes, try it out and you will soon see you can be picking up the same passenger on a daily basis) so to end it all, uber has indeed worked out in our favour.

Unknown said...

for a foreigner to work in Singapore the law says he/she requires a visa and the condition for a work visa (any flavor) requires a monthly salary to be paid t that person , Driving taxi is a daily wage job aka what these Taxi companies/government love to terms as "Self employed" . there is no visa class for self employed and if government does try to do this lets see , being a estate agent is a self employed job also insurance agent is same not to mention anything can be self employed then we will have so many foreigners here in Singapore that the Island will simply sink under the weight of people on it :-). so answer to your question in Singaporean way is " wait long long"

Unknown said...

I use Uber and Grabcar everyday. It's much more cheaper than owning a car, I don't need to drive and cost less than taking a taxi, with all the ridiculous surcharges. What used to cost me $30-40 per trip now costs $20-30.

Everytime I talk to drivers they are generally happy about their earnings. About 30-40% of the drivers that picked me up were ex cabbies from Comfort and other taxi companies who want to get out from the iron grip of the corporations.

I simply decided to switch over to Uber and Grabcar also because the attitude of taxi drivers that you come across, especially when you take taxis on a frequent basis. First, they are rude whenever they ask where we are going, even if they change shift. It's either you work or go home. Secondly, they are always "Busy" or don't want to pick you up despite being available. They will just tell you to complain to the company if you are not happy.

So enough is enough. Most of them have been resting on their laurels for too long.

Anonymous said...

Uber is building an eco-system which is fuelled by deep pocket out of venture capital. The point is consumer like this system compared to conventional phone booking system. More and more consumer will switch to this system. As the consumer base of the system grow, so would their driver. It is a network effect driven by consumer not the driver. Think about Visa and Master. Their system always take a small fraction away from the merchants' hard-earning revenue. Merchant has no choice but to accept because more and more consumer prefer to use credit card due to the incentive/reward offered and the convenience of being cashless. This is a similar network effect driven by consumer. Unless one day, consumers decide to switch because they become inferior to other system, it will keep growing and growing. The end.

Anonymous said...

Cab drivers do have a choice to join UberX or GrabCar, but I am not sure how much they will make. But at least you get a to drive a car, a more own time own target schedule, and you do not need to ply the roads whole day. Agree with the note above, that all these is primarily driven by demand. The more users use these apps, the more drivers will flock there. One day, the comfort booking system may well be obsolete. For things to change, some things have to change first.

Unknown said...

For your info... Or u can go register a uber x account and u will know

Uber x call in non stop I say again NON STOP. Anywhere anytime... It seem like everyone is booking uber x is no car then taxi... If I non wrong uber x is cheaper then taxi anytime

Unknown said...

Please register a uber x account and grab account and you will know the call is non stop anytime anywhere even mid night.... Everyone want to save money so they use uber x to cut cost... A lot of taxi driver had return car to drive uber and their earning is 50% more then they drive taxi

Unknown said...

And for your info we go in empty tank every 2 day to put in fuel and mostly about 10am which is lesser call an we can top up and do a car wash rm10 only with full services and eat a lung then come back into Singapore... So far our custom officer never want to check the fuel.... Anyway if they happen to check is only $100 fine... So far all driver go into jb and after so many mth no one of us is stop by officer to check fuel at all

Unknown said...

For your info uber x an grab at is cheaper then taxi that why the booking app is non stop... Even midnight anywhere also got uber call.... Everyone want to save some money so they try uber x first... If no car then book a taxi

Unknown said...

U are stupid... Join our palringo group and we teach u how to make money.... We can give u a booking then u start an end the trip... Or u can even register as a customer and book yourself.... Or best ask your family member to book... Anyway all of us book each everyday... But must end the trip fast and pay only tr base of $5 and u earn the extra back

Marcus Goh said...

In Singapore, anything not link to 'G'? :p

Marcus Goh said...

In Singapore, anything not link to 'G'? :p

taxi uncle said...

we taxi drivers are switching to private car + uber/grab app mostly due to the following reasons.

1) ridiculous ever-increasing daily rental at comfort.
2) when there is downtime during servicing, instead of waiving that day's rental, they waive hourly pro-rated basis. This is crazy. If downtime is 3 hours, they only rebate 3 hours rental when 3 hours i could have earn 5 times more. So downtime to service their taxi become our own loss.
3) comfort dont allow in-car cam facing inside car to prevent fare-runner. If i drive private car with uber/grab, i can install in-car cam facing inside and tell customers dont play play.
4) and driving private car with uber/grab, after half day, when i decided to stop, i can still use private car for private use.

Unknown said...


I'm thinking of switching to full time as uber driver.
Basically I saw my friend and brother in law doing it as a part time but based on their earning, it already exceeded my current drawn salary.

My brother in law basically do Monday to Friday, from 7pm to 11pm. Occasionally Saturday and off on Sunday.

Hence this left me very interested, I'm thinking of getting a 1.6cc vehicle of my own as to save on rental. I'm good with maintaining a car as I know how and know where to do repair.

Is this idea feasible?

Anonymous said...

Go ahead buddy. I wish you well. Choice is your power.

Anonymous said...

This is called competition, Taxi companies should relax their requirements and also allow taxi drivers to gain profit by cutting charges on their side! Taxi companies are monopolizing the transport industry. It is just normal for people to find cheaper ways of transport, if taxi companies will lower the flag down of taxi , booking fee and revise the peek charge, see if Uber can still stand. Again this competition! Stop crying like a baby. (referring to taxi companies not to taxi drivers)

Also ATaxi Driver said...

The grass is always greener on the other side... true that it gives the major company a run for their money but stats wise I don't think your numbers are very accurate...

good luck buddy

Unknown said...

Currently its much easier to join Uber compared to been a Taxi driver.

There are generally two ways to be a get started on been a Uber Driver. 1) if you have your own car and would like to go by the route of doing everything yourself, you will need to start a Sole-proprietor in order to join Uber. 2) a Easier way would be yo rent it from a car rental company as what you had mentioned, Uber will pay them and then they will pay you on a weekly basis. find out more details of Uber driver requirement Here

I reckon its most beneficial to drive part time especially the insurance and property agents rather than full time. driving full time can be very taxing.

Unknown said...

I need to let you know that Please continue posting since this is great post you shared.
car taxi service in jaipur

Taxi driver said...

The ruling already came out. Next year. Prs and foreigners are allowed to drive pte cars.

Anonymous said...

How long till Singapore bans this blog I wonder. Interesting and very well written. I have generally found getting taxis in Singapore hard work except at the airport. I didn't realize it was basically another government owned monopoly. Roll on UBER!

Andy Chua said...

I'm a property agent and also a registered Uber driver for 2 years.

After reading all the comments, I like to add my own 2 cents worth.

When I first started off Apr 2014, calls were far and few between. But each trip is easily $30 on average. Fares came down to attract more passengers and it was true there were more jobs. Nowadays, there are so many drivers that calls became far and few between again during off peak hours. But end of the day its a balance. Those who survive well think its good. Those who can't, can always switch to driving a taxi. I find this is the beauty of the current situation.

Personally, I love the rating system. Those providing poor service gets suspended. I have always been above 4.7 for my ratings.

I haven't done a single trip in almost 2 months though. Too busy with property work as I'm currently making much more than from driving Uber. Plus I have a new born to take care of thus less free time to drive and do my sales.

Anonymous said...

Not that long apparently

Des said...

Here's my experience as a Uber Driver ( own car ) . Nett earning after petrol $2200 per month. Kenna one time accident , excess $2000 , everything is gone . Not to mention , I have to service and repair my own vehicle . It totally not worth it. If I rent a vehicle from Lion rental, I have to drive an extra 5-6 hours to cover rental , at the end of the day, it's back to square one. Uber driving only benefit part-time drivers eg, sales people where company pays their expenses, property / insurance agents to want to make a little bit more . Housewives with an extra family car and don't know what to do after sending kids to school or if you are unemployed and have no choice ( please drive with utmost care) . Otherwise , Don't bother.

Anonymous said...

Comfirm they will let the foreigners drive. It sooner or later. Profit and singaporean, think what they will choose. I love the 70% percent. Stupidlity kill oweself.

Anonymous said...

Well said.."G" will appear in any trade that can generate more income for them!

Anonymous said...

Again with the politics.. Don't you ever feel it gets old..

Unknown said...

Hi Mr. James Lim,

I am Andrew Lee and I'm currently an undergraduate at NUS. I am writing an undergraduate thesis on disruption in the taxi industry with the introduction of ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Grab and am hoping you would allow me the pleasure of conducting an interview with you for a more detailed insight into the life of a cabby driver.

Please do let me know if you are willing by dropping me an email at or by simply replying to this comment. I would be more than happy to share with you my work and to also listen to your thoughts on this situation.

Looking forward to your reply. Thank you!


Unknown said...

Hi James,

My name's clare - my mother who is singaporean visiting from hong kong is coming this weekend to visit our grandparents who are elderly. She is trying to find a driver for the weekend who might be available for 3 hours or so on saturday and sunday to drive to take the old folks to eat back and forth on both sat and sunday as she doesn't not have a car in singapore and she doesn't know how to use uber. Do you have any suggestions or any cab friends who might be interested in a flat rate fee for Saturday and Sunday for a couple hours of their time on each day? Any info would be appreciated.



Max Chan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Max Chan said...

I am a property agent driving Uber part time, this helps me to own a car at minimum cost. I only drive Uber during the incentive period and wake up at 5am every morning to catch the incentive period. what I want to say is, if you were to just drive during the incentive period, you will be able to drive efficiently and earn sufficient amount to cover the cost of the car.

Given the nature of my job, I have flexibility in my working hours, hence it suits my lifestlye and still earn some cash to offset the cost of the car.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a good insight. Thank you James. Looks like what was predicted a year ago is really happening. And you are right, some Uber drivers are indeed earning more than taxi drivers albeit denial.

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Tempo Traveller Rental Company- said...
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