Taxi firms urged to up the game and improve quality

Taxi firms urged to up the game and improve quality
Mr Vincent Tan, 45, a service manager, attaching a "red dot" foam ball to his car at a petrol station.

Taxi services may face new competition from technology like private car hire app Uber, but they can up their game by delivering quality and providing passengers with a service they can trust.

Cabbies, unions and taxi operators can work together to come up with new models of service that can take competition to the next level, said labour chief Chan Chun Sing yesterday.

"You can have Uber... but what is the quality assurance that somebody from, say, ComfortDelGro and the known operators can bring to the table? I think for any (member of the) public who takes public transport... two words will always be key - trust and quality. If they (existing operators) can maintain this niche area, I think they will give (competitors) a run for their money," said the secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress.

Speaking on the sidelines of a ComfortDelGro fund-raising event, Mr Chan said the public transport industry will face new challenges in the future, but strong bi- and tri-partite relationships can help overcome them.

The bus sector, for example, is transiting to a state-contracting model. Last Friday, London-based Tower Transit won the first government bus contract, beating seven other bidders, including SBS Transit and SMRT.

Yesterday, ComfortDelGro launched the sale of 50,000 "red dots" to raise up to $250,000 for four beneficiaries, such as the Lions Befrienders Service Association. The foam balls - which is a nod to how Singapore is often described as a little red dot - can be bought from Singapore Petroleum Company's pump stations over the next three months.

adrianl@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 15, 2015.
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