Top Horizontal Menu

Friendly Taxi Drivers in Singapore

The taxi drivers in Singapore must be the friendliest drivers in the South East Asian region.  I can compare them to the Thai, Hong Kong, Malaysian and especially the Filipino drivers - and the Singaporean drivers are the most courteous.  They also seem to be the most chatty - and typically I don't like chatty drivers - and I will plug my ears with headphones when they chat with me.  Singaporean drivers ( who we call Uncle ) are ok - because they tend to be talk about positive topics - like their recent vacation to the Philippines or their children or Singapore weather.  That's unlike what I can hear from our Manongs back home.  

Moreover - how many times have you tried to hail a cab in the streets of Manila and the Manong asks you where you're going and turns you down if you're too near - and turns you down if you're too far?  On the other hand in Singapore - you go to a taxi queue and the driver doesn't seem to have a choice but take you in - even your destination is miles and miles away.

The Taxi Card provided by PS Cafe to their guests.
I wonder if it's because of the surcharge system in taxi fares in the City State.  You see - in Singapore - everything seems to have a surcharge.  Hail a cab between 5:30 and 9:30 in the evening and there's a surcharge.  Go into the City and there's a surcharge.   Take a cab into the airport and there's a surcharge.  Call them to pick you up and there's a surcharge.  To be honest - the taxi fare can be pretty expensive - but I guess this scheme makes it easier to get a cab without the haggling that you have in other South Asian cities.   You hail a cab - or you go to the nearest taxi queue - and you get a cab.  Besides - those surcharges make sense.   Between 5:30 and 9:30 in the evening is when you can encounter heaviest traffic.   The city center is more congested.   That taxi fare also seem to imply that the drivers can earn a decent living as compared to their counterparts in the region.   So maybe that's why they are nicer.

This prompts me to ask - is the surcharge scheme the answer to our Taxi woes in Manila?  Do you think it will improve the overall demeanor of Taxi Manongs? 

No comments:

Post a Comment