Older cabbies not keen on surge pricing

Older cabbies not keen on surge pricing
Traffic along Central Expressway, CTE, near Jalan Bahagia exit.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Most of those who spoke to The New Paper were apprehensive about the pricing system and the technology involved.

Mr Chia Chiong Soon, 70, a cabby of 20 years, said: "Why must we make things so complicated? Older people usually drive leisurely, and all we want is for things to remain convenient and easy for us."

Another cabby, who wanted to be known as Mr Tan, 60, said: "I want to rely on the meter, and I don't want to have to keep meddling with my phone when I drive.

Read also: Trans-Cab, Premier Taxi plan to use surge pricing

"It's dangerous and troublesome for me. My phone is old and cannot handle so many applications."

Others found the dynamic pricing model, which fluctuates based on demand, confusing.

Read also: 'Dynamic fares' in the works at 4 taxi companies: What you need to know

A Comfort taxi driver, Mr Chua, 59, felt that surge pricing would be unfavourable to taxis. He said: "If we have the same pricing model as Grab and Uber cars, then who will book our cabs? Commuters will stick with one platform because it's more convenient for them.

'PROMOTIONAL CODES'

"Moreover, Grab and Uber have promotional codes that could lower the price."

Another Comfort cabby, Mr Tan Tai Heng, 62, also prefers to stick to the meter.

Read also: Grab set to provide fixed upfront fares for booking cabs

He said: "I don't know how low-surge prices will go during non-peak periods. The meter pricing takes into account traffic jams and delays, so we may earn more."

However, Mr Mahmood Abdullah, 66, said surge pricing may help taxi drivers remain competitive.

"If we have the same pricing as Uber and Grab, then maybe we won't lose out on customers. They may also choose us because now we can all charge the same."


This article was first published on Mar 09, 2017.
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