Fewer people taking taxis as more choose private hire cars instead: Survey

The Straits Times

Fewer people are taking taxis in Singapore as more are choosing to commute via private car services such as Grab and Uber.

A survey conduced by the Public Transport Council (PTC) recently showed that the proportion of taxi rides among all point-to-point rides dipped from 50 per cent to 29.5 per cent last year.

Average daily taxi ridership also fell from 954,000 in 2016 to 785,000 in 2017.

This is despite the fact that the percentage of respondents who took a point-to-point ride in 2017 almost doubled to 41.4 per cent from 29.6 per cent the year before.

PTC noted that respondents surveyed showed a greater propensity to take private hire cars, as the proportion who did so jumped from 50 per cent in 2016 to 70.5 per cent in 2017.

As part of its survey, PTC also found that commuter satisfaction with taxi and private hire car services increased by 2.8 percentage points last year.

Almost all respondents, or 98.6 per cent to be exact, scored taxi and private hire car services 6 and above out of 10.

Taxi services registered a higher proportion of satisfied users at 98.5 per cent in 2017, up from 94.4 per cent in 2016.

At the same time, satisfaction with private hire car services also rose from 97.3 per cent to 98.7 per cent.

When mean scores are compared, private-hire car services trumped taxis with a satisfaction score of 8.2, compared to 7.9 for taxis.

Satisfaction levels of point-to-point users in 2017.

Respondents were surveyed on the eight key attributes of taxi services – waiting time, ease of booking, information, ride comfort, driver’s knowledge of route, service provided by the driver, safety and taxi stand accessibility.

Private hire car services were weighed with the same attributes with the exception of taxi stand accessibility.

PTC’s study found that taxi users were most satisfied with safety, driver’s knowledge of route and service information, while private hire car users were most satisfied with ease of booking, safety and service information.

While taxi users placed the highest importance on safety, driver’s knowledge of route and waiting time, private hire car users placed the highest importance on safety, waiting time and ease of booking.

Discounts offered by private hire car operators was seen to be the most likely reason behind users’ choice of private hire cars over buses and MRT services.