I have been driving taxis for more than 15 years and have noticed that whenever commuters are unable to get cabs, fingers are pointed at taxi drivers for "hiding" ("Taxis 'vanishing' from airport queues before peak hour"; Monday).
I seldom read about the plight of taxi drivers who have to queue for hours at the airport, or drive around the city in the late evenings trying to pick up passengers.
With high vehicle rentals and operating costs, it does not make sense for taxi drivers to "disappear" and wait for peak-hour surcharges to kick in.
During peak hours, taxis are required islandwide and cabbies do their best to pick up as many passengers as possible, despite the road congestion that slows down response or turnaround time.
Even with the call booking system and third-party apps, it is difficult to match the high demand for taxis during peak hours with supply.
When passengers cannot hail a taxi, it is not because taxis are doing a "disappearing act". It is simply a case of demand outstripping supply.
I hope commuters are able to understand that taxis cannot be everywhere all the time, especially during peak hours.
Raymond Ong Thiam Khoon
This article was first published on September 12, 2014.
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