Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


Passenger numbers drop for taxis, but rise for MRT trains

By Valarie Tan, Channel NewsAsia
07 January 2009

SINGAPORE: People in Singapore seem to be choosing cheaper ways to travel in these tough economic times. Latest figures from the Land Transport Authority showed that taxis are picking up fewer passengers while MRT trains are carrying more.

Passenger numbers for taxis started falling from September when news of a recession first broke. October saw the biggest fall by over 50,000 passengers.

December figures are not available yet, but November statistics showed that business picked up slightly with 898,975 passengers. But the number pales in comparison to that of 2007, when taxi ridership hit 941,709.

Still, SMRT Taxis said the increase could be due to the school holidays and the festive period.

Drivers said that overall, business took a turn for the worse, dropping by about 20 per cent in the last four months.

Said one cabbie: "In one day, I could earn 80 to 90 dollars. Sometimes, I could even earn 110 dollars. But now I can only earn about 50 to 60 dollars."

Most cabbies Channel NewsAsia spoke to are not very positive about business even during the upcoming Lunar New Year season when many families are expected to be out and about.

Drivers said they hope companies can consider lowering taxi rentals and bring down operation costs to help them tide over the difficult period.

Both ComfortDelGro and SMRT Taxis said drivers' income have not dipped for September and October 2008.

SMRT Taxis said records from previous years showed that taxi ridership generally increase in the December and January periods.

While taxis may find the road ahead challenging, MRT train rides got more crowded since September, with passenger numbers surging by about 10 per cent this year compared to last year. - CNA/vm

Labels: ,