Taxi drivers share their thoughts on rental cut by Trans-cab

Taxi drivers share their thoughts on rental cut by Trans-cab

Singapore’s second-largest taxi company, Trans-cab, announced last year on 28 December that it will be cutting its rental rate for cabbies who operate alone and apply to both new and existing drivers starting from 1 January 2017.
Currently, the firm owns a fleet of about 4,500 taxis. It said that about 4,000 are currently on the road, which means that around 11 per cent of them are idle.
This move was said to have been taken in the middle of the growing competition from private-hire services Uber and Grab to attract more drivers.
Taxi drivers are split on the introduction of the new initiative. While some support the move, some do not.
In response to a question filed to drivers, here are what some of those who support the move wrote:

  • Desmond Buckland wrote, “A cut in rental prove that Transcab is responding to the market which PHV have make their impact on their low rental. With the same fares structure, it will aid the driver which work as omo from driving 5hrs to 2.5-3hrs to cover their cost daily. In addition of the assistance of grabtaxi, Cdg can no longer monopolize the call markets that they used to enjoy. To conclude, I welcome the move of lowering of rental”
  • Howard Teo Chin Wan wrote, “Transcab all along had been very generous with their incentives. By lowering down all the rentals & taking out all the incentives won’t hurt their pockets too much.
    Also it has been confirmed the lowered rentals for cabs 3 years and above. One taxi COE last for 8 years and it takes 2 years to break even assuming rental $13X for a new cab inclusive of the maintenance costs.
    A smartly calculated move. No doubt many TDs respect their GM Jasmine.”
  • Jason Choo wrote, “Will help TD to get a stable income due to competition as driving OMO can cover both peak hours and solve issue on change shift timing.”
  • Derek Tan wrote, “Reduce rental definitely will help TDs a bit to bring back food on table for families but these reduce rental matter won’t last long cos taxi company getting lesser profit.”
  • Tommy Tommy wrote, “It’s the same like trading. If the market is good,merchants don’t mind buy expensive goods if they can make money.  If the market is no good how cheap also not much use. Generally, day by day, the strategy is beneficial to tds.”
  • Kenneth Chan wrote, “The OMO scheme is excellent. But it works only when somebody applies for older taxis. Those currently driving new taxi with a year contract preferring to do OMO cannot enjoy such benefits. That is a great pity.”
  • Danny Soh wrote, “Remember one thing from 2017 taxi license operating fees will raise from 1% to 2%. This is a smart move by lowering rental can attract more driver to join tc and they are paying the same licensing fees to lta. Because higher rental means they pay more fees lower rental they pay almost the same as previously but can attract more td.”
  • Mito Wong wrote, “I hope Comfort Delgro will follow too. Lower rental definitely help a lot.”

On the other hand, some said that it was actually a cunning move as Trans Cab actually takes away all the incentives and perks. Here are some of the comments which did not see the new initative as a positive move:

  • Mohammed Bashir Ismail Khan wrote, “Its a shrewd and cunning move though. Transcab no lost as they take away all incentives and perks. Including free rental or mc.”
  • Benson Oh Boon Teck wrote, “Reduction of rental but other benefits taken away. Monetary benefits take away never mind but cannot get reliefs is forcing hirer to be omo and relief to become omo. End up most become omo more supply on the road with some timing but also short supply with other timing because no omo can drive 24/7.”
  • Mrvyn Lim wrote, “This proves 1 thing. Taxi companies CAN rent out at this lower pricing and make profit. But they choose to keep increasing rentals in the past citing high COE prices. But now with PHV at lower rentals, it only shows the cat is out of the bag. TAXI COYs HAVE BEEN EXPLOITING TDs ALL THIS WHILE!!!!!”
  • Taylnee Mike Ong wrote, “Taxi trade dying. …. Vs PHV.
    In my opinion who are those coming out from competition.
    What would happen if our big Bro (15k fleets) were to employ FT/FW from Taiwan like what is happening to security officers. Will this kill own citizens rich bowl? Just my assumption.
    If they not going to lower down the Taxi rental . The what could be left over in the junkyard….. lost for more money?
    Does it benefits. ..?
    Just for these few weeks wait and see my guess.
    PHV is drawing more drivers from PR and to those retrenched. ….. (face value).
    Economy no good too many fleets on the street.
    Over supply less demand. From 1 taxi break into 2 taxi plying on the street. Who is losing. ?
    The Taxi coy gain back from those parked in the backyard.
    Now ….. could be worst. Over supply 58k PHV Vs 25K Taxis.
  • Jacky Chiang wrote, “Not much difference if you’re sharing with a relief.”

By and large, regardless of which stance does the drivers take on the move by Transcab, all drivers that TOC spoke to, demand Land Transport Authority (LTA) to regulate the Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) drivers fairly or to reduce regulation upon the drivers as they are being penalised by the stringent regulations upon them. While at the same time, the PHV drivers are allowed to get away with little to no regulations.

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