I just received the following Whatsapp message from my taxi buddies:
Dear Comrades Taxi Drivers,
Prices of water, electricity, bus and train fares will be going up soon. But a third party app provider, Grab has now controlled all taxi companies except Comfort and set taxi fares. That is not correct. PTC has allowed the taxi companies to set the taxi fares and not a third party app provider.
Grab has reduced the taxi fares so much that it is cheaper to call a taxi than to queue at taxi stands or flag down taxis. Comfort has also started fixed fares but they have kept their rates at the current prices inclusive of surcharges.
Comrades don't let Grab fool you with the incentives. If you do your Maths, you will realise that you lose more when you pick up JustGrab jobs. They are forcing you to do the jobs with the Acceptances rates.
Amidst the competition between Grab, Comfort and Uber, taxi drivers are the end losers.
Grab is now reaping huge profits. Grab is not interested in the drivers welfare. Grab had promise more jobs with Grab pay.
Ask yourself How many jobs can you do with an hour?
At the most 3 or 4.
Taxi drivers are not robots who should drive around collecting cheap fares.
You should not allow Grab to exploit you with cheap fares.
How can Grab set the same fares for cars and taxis when there is so much a difference in the rental rates.
Basically, Grab has set low fares to pull customers away from Uber and Comfort. Grab is not reaping huge profits but at the expenses of taxi drivers.
Did Grab consult taxi drivers before setting the fares?
Several emails have been sent to them on this matter but they just refused to address the issues.
Grab has gone further to remove classifications of drivers and had given no thought for drivers who had come a long way with Grab from day one.
If Grab is really interested in the drivers' welfare then they should do away with the Acceptance rate and just give the incentives as long as you hit the target. But their intention is for you to drop below the AC rate so that they don't have to pay you.
Comrades Taxi Driver, don't let Grab fool you and exploit you with their incentives and medisave payments which are not substantial to cover the losses from the JustGrab jobs"
I instantly responded as follows:
Dear Comrades Taxi Drivers,
Grab/Uber has dethroned COMFORT as "tai-core" (big -brother) and I think it's a good thing.
For years, COMFORT has been ill-treating their drivers because they are a monopolist company like a dictator. They call the shots in the taxi industry as they command 90 percent of the taxi fleet on Singapore roads.
They never look after their drivers' welfare or improve their operating system as most of the staff are old dead woods adverse to changes. Worse still, at the slightest trivial mistake or customer complaint, they sack their driver arbitrarily without hesitation. They only listen to and accept the customers' complaints without question or proper investigation. Heaven forbids, they even reward customers with taxi vouchers if a complaint is successful.
As a COMFORT's driver, we never heard of incentives except if you become their slaves as a hirer.
Now Grab/Uber at least incentivize you if you work harder and achieve certain targets.
Look, nobody puts a gun to your head to force you to take Grab/Uber call jobs. Ignore their call jobs if they are not worthwhile or profitable.
I never do their $5 or $6 call job. As a driver, I take only call jobs which are reasonable or profitable.
Don't worry brothers/sisters....Grab/Uber will eventually increase taxi fares because their present operation is not sustainable....they are running at a lost at this moment.
On hindsight, I don't even have these call jobs before Grab/Uber enter the market except when you're a COMFORT driver.
I must thank Grab/Uber but hope they will set taxi fares at a level that's fairer for both the commuters and taxi drivers.
I hope Uber/Grab bankrupt COMFORT soon or more taxi drivers abandoned them and join other more supportive taxi operators or become private car drivers.
|COMFORT returned taxis at one of many roof top garages|
|StraitTimes news report on 17th July 2017|