S'pore granny who can't use app waits for over 30 minutes for taxi during CNY public holidays

Taxi fleets have been shrinking over the years.

Nigel Chua | February 13, 2024, 11:00 AM



Surcharges by cooked food and other service providers are common over the Chinese New Year period, with manpower constraints being one of the reasons.

This applies to private hire vehicles (PHV) and taxi services as well.

8world reported on Feb. 11 that such point-to-point transport services were in short supply over this year's CNY public holidays on Feb. 10 and 11.

Passengers were found to have waited for as long as 30 minutes for a taxi at a taxi stand, while those using ride-hailing services faced longer-than-usual waits — if they could even get a ride.

Waiting times of around 10 to 20 minutes were reported on Sunday (Feb. 11) morning at the Ang Mo Kio Hub taxi stand, for example.

An interviewee in the queue for a taxi said they had been waiting for around 15 minutes, and pointed out that waiting times there would usually be much shorter, with shorter queues as well.

Drivers who were interviewed said most of their passengers were doing CNY visiting, and that business on the eve of the first day of CNY was best.

A driver said: "The past two days have been very busy. Many passengers are looking for taxis, and there aren't enough taxis [to meet the demand]."

Despite the demand and supply conditions tilting in favour of higher fares, some drivers interviewed by 8world reported a fall in earnings since 2023.

Meanwhile, an elderly person said she had been waiting for almost half an hour, saying that as an "old grandmother", she did not know how to use ride-hailing services to secure a ride.

In an interview with Lianhe Zaobao published on Jan. 9, transport minister Chee Hong Tat pointed to a trend of shrinking taxi fleets as older taxi drivers retire, while younger drivers opt to drive private hire cars instead of taxis.

Top screenshot via Google Maps street view