It is one of those seemingly intractable problems which Singapore has faced for many years – with no perfect solution in sight. It frustrates both the commuter and the transport authorities and is of such national angst that it warrants front page coverage in the national newspaper:
We are, of course, talking about the phenomenon of the disappearing taxi in Singapore.
The latest installment of this long-running saga has taxis “vanishing” from Changi airport just before peak hour when surcharges kick in.
The reason is no surprise, of course.
“I don’t see why it is wrong for taxi drivers to wait for the surcharge so we can earn more,” cabby Wong was quoted by the Straits Times as saying.
“It is just a few dollars extra for the passengers anyway,” he helpfully quipped.
But Changi airport is not the only area where taxi shortage is experienced. (See news reports below.)
The authorities, to be fair, have tried ways and means to resolve the problem. In fact, they have been trying for almost 40 years.
But the problem is a stubborn one, apparently, which no solution can address adequately.
Or so it seems.
Below are some newspaper clippings from 1976 onwards, to 2014.
38 years in total – of news, views, letters, and official attempts at tackling the issue.
What else can the authorities do?