On Thursday (27 February), a ComfortDelGro (CDG) driver, Mr Anuar Bin Ali, tendered his resignation to the company after working with them for ten years. He shared his decision to leave the organization in a Facebook post on Wednesday (26 February).
Mr Anuar says he does not intend to discourage others but he is only expressing his heartache. The whole transportation industry, according to Mr Anuar, has been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As people fear potentially contracting the infectious disease, more have chosen not to use taxis.
On top of that, he adds that the Comfort Ride (CR) fare is unreasonable.
During peak hours, he explains, there is a 25 percent surcharge which begins at 8pm. Therefore, a trip from Greenwich V, Seletar Road to MBS would cost S$13. Meanwhile, a trip from Jurong West St 91 to Kampung Bahru would cost S$18.
At the same time, Mr Anuar urges CDG to lower their rent of taxis, if they intend to implement the “Green Camp” low fare. He adds that despite the S$20 and S$16 rebates, taxi drivers still incur high expenditure for taxi rentals.
Mr Anuar points out that he would not mind accepting a fare between S$7-S$12 if he was a Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) driver because then his car rental would be lower than a taxi’s.
However, to sustain the rental and fuel of the vehicle, as well as to generate income, Mr Anuar explains that drivers need to drive for long hours which comes with all the discomfort of not being able to take refreshment or toilet breaks.
What’s more, given the fact that people are choosing to book PHV drivers than taxis, it is difficult for hardworking taxi drivers like Mr Anuar to make an honest decent income.
Special incentives for Grab drives during difficult times
Separately, yesterday, Grab announced that a financial aid of S$70 per week would be given to their drivers based on the incentive tier the drivers are in.
The aid works in such a way that drivers who operate within upper tiers would receive a sum of S$85 a week, in comparison to those who operate in the two lower tiers, who would only be eligible to receive S$45 a week.
A Grab driver’s tier is determined by the number of accepted bookings and their in-app rating from customers.
Furthermore, a Super Steady Streak incentive, which allowed Grab drivers who make approximately 200 trips a month for additional allowance, would be suspended.
As a result of these abrupt changes, there has been a growing concern among many Grab drivers who make a livelihood from this app.
Responding to this, a Grab spokesperson revealed that these schemes were “designed to prop up earnings for our broad base of driver-partners who qualify for the Special Relief Fund, and to enable them to bring home fixed amounts of earnings during these volatile and challenging times”.
The spokesperson continued, “Our primary intent was to provide better earnings security for our driver partners, especially when we have seen a decline in rides per driver-partner, mostly due to decreased commuter demand and drop in tourist arrivals.”
She added that the firm had seen a 20 percent drop in bookings, which is expected to decline further in the coming months.