Taxi drivers and taxi company executives are wringing their hands over competitors Uber and Grab, with many traditional taxi providers struggling to find a way to compete against their “disruptors”.

But the answers to the dilemma faced by traditional taxi companies might have been less complicated than everyone thought.

In a forum letter with a word count of less than 230 words (that’s lesser than what some Facebook users write in their comments!), one 16 year-old Singaporean student explains the three very basic reasons why traditional taxi companies are losing out to their newer, more innovative competitors.

“Many people seem to think cabbies are lazy, and that they hide somewhere for about half an hour before midnight so they can gain from the midnight surcharge. They also cite the success of private-hire car services and argue how regular cabbies are unable to deliver. However, I beg to differ.

There are many reasons why I prefer Uber and Grab over traditional taxis.

First, the Uber app has so many more features compared with traditional taxi-booking systems.

I can see where the drivers are and I can easily contact them if I see them heading the wrong way, thus saving time.

Also, I can easily keep track of my rides using the app.

Second, I can pay for my fares easily. Instead of having to pay a 10 per cent service charge when I use my credit card, I get discounts when I use Android Pay with Uber and Grab, allowing for swifter payments. This way, I can get in and get out of my ride quickly without needing to fiddle with coins and notes.

Third, I know what my fare will be even before I start a trip.”

Taxi companies, take note!


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