NETIZEN WRITES A OPEN FEEDBACK LETTER ABOUT TAXI DRIVER LIVELIHOOD! PLEASE HELP TO SHARE FOR AWARENESS!

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Dear NTUC chief

cc : Ms Josephine Teo and Transport Minister :

Taxi uncles livelihood – feedback to LTA and MOT

Question :

1) Why are taxi operators (almost like a oligopoly) charging taxi uncle about $120 to $140 taxi rental a day? this will add up to about $4000 a month, and about $50k a year! So does that mean technically Taxi operators can break even in about 2 years (around 3 years max) which is consider very very very very very profitable business! But yet why taxi uncle still need to bear the COE cost of a taxi which taxi is already under quota by the authority / govt anyway. Understand that most handworking taxi driver only take home about $2k plus a month. Even if that taxi uncle tried to work longer hour, that will be as good as compromising ones health / future health for a mere few hundred more earning a month, which in a logical sense not worth it, but because many needed the money, they might end up over forcing themselves to make the extra income just to bring home a bit more bread for their family.

2) My next question is why then… Or why shouldn’t such profitable taxi operators just charge taxi uncle $50-$60 (or even lower!) rental per day instead of $120-$140 per day? This will help a group of 28,000 (actual figure to be re-confirmed) or more taxi driver on the road and enable them to earn $3000 to $3k plus every month instead of $2k plus! These extra $1k plus will meant a lot to that family! (Maybe the rich may not understand how much a $1000 plus extra earning meant to a family, but am sure many taxi uncle will agree with me!)

3) From my understanding and limited knowledge, even if a company that charges $50-$60 per day for taxi rental can easily make good profit as we’ll, just that the break even for the taxi may be extended by another 2-3 years, which a Taxi can last for 8-10 years on the road (eventhough I think 7-8 years is usually the length of time that taxi operators keep their taxi fleet on the road. I am fair confident that these taxi operators still can make good company with even $50-$60 taxi rental!

4) also… Why then does it make sense to have COE cost add into taxi where quota are set by the same / similar authority? or at least I think so, all quotas of taxi and/or COE come from the government, right? What’s the rationale to have quota set on taxi and still need taxi to be paid COE? if so, then there seem to have some sort of duplication somewhere where issuance of quotas is concern? Isn’t Taxi some sort of semi-public transport too (even if (or should) the authority refuse to consider Taxi as a public transport?)

5) I am fairly certain many family (even considering couple as a family nucleus) are struggling even at earning around $3000 plus a month! Let alone if take home is $2000 plus a month. Not all family are dual income earners! Many of the spouse are housewife. Some are plagued by health reasons! Some of the other half have health issues that simply made them not quite able to work and earn money, and husband (sometimes wife) have to go out to earn money / like driving tax etc… Just to hope they can scrap through….

6) Maybe one last point to add. Having the 250km minimum daily mileage has it’s good intent, but not all taxi drivers can be as fit as a bull, and not all taxi drivers are young and strong. Different people have different health condition. Many are over 50s. Making taxi drivers fatigue (and pressurizing them too much) is not only no good for taxi driver’s health and welfare, but also poses a higher (increase) danger to other road users as well. (Likewise for the bus drivers who need to do OT/overtimes, in order to earn a bit more to take home to feed their families.) Also, forcing taxi driver to stay longer hours on the road will inevitably (and eventually) create more health problems for most of these taxi drivers who need to earn the living on the road. (We, People are not made of steel!)

Think about it? Is it really so hard to understand?

🍀 Btw… Taxi uncles are self employed basis (i.e. no work, no earning); Taxi uncles cannot enjoy full employment benefits (including paid annual leave, insurance coverage, medical and other fringe benefits, thus also not really covered under the typical “employment act”, etc) as an employee (to all these taxi operators)! Yet strangely, there are so many rules that Taxi Uncles need to follow, be it rules from the Taxi operators, or (as well as) rules from LTA and other authorities (if any) (For the longest time? Anyone really helping to fight / bargain for their rights?)

 Interestingly, Previously, are Taxi operated under NTUC comfort?

 For the longest time, Anyone been really fighting for these taxi drivers’ interest?

Source: FB post by Calvin Koh

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