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ComfortDelGro to raise taxi fares for second time in successive months

SINGAPORE — Singapore's largest taxi operator ComfortDelGro will be temporarily increasing its taxi fares from next Monday (April 4) to help its drivers cope with the sharp increases in fuel prices in recent weeks.

 ComfortDelGro to raise taxi fares for second time in successive months
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  • Taxi operator ComfortDelGro said the temporary fare increase is being introduced following “strong feedback from its drivers”
  • It should improve their daily earnings by between S$3.20 and S$3.84 — assuming the drivers complete an average of 10 to 12 trips per day
  • What this means for commuters is that they can expect their trips to cost an extra 32 cents for every 10km travelled
  • The temporary fare increase will be reviewed by the end of May and “removed if fuel prices ease”

SINGAPORE — Singapore's largest taxi operator ComfortDelGro will be temporarily increasing its taxi fares from next Monday (April 4) to help its drivers cope with the sharp increases in fuel prices in recent weeks.

For regular taxis, the fare per 400m after the first 1km will rise from 24 cents to 25 cents up to 10km, and from 24 cents to 25 cents per 350m thereafter. The charge for every 45 seconds or less of waiting time will rise from 24 cents to 25 cents.

For LimoCabs and MaxiCabs, the fares in all those same categories will rise from 33 cents to 34 cents.

The firm said in a statement on Monday that the temporary fare increase is being introduced following “strong feedback from its drivers”, and will improve their daily earnings by between S$3.20 and S$3.84 — assuming the drivers complete an average of 10 to 12 trips per day.

For passengers, the latest fare increase for both distance and waiting times, when the cab is stationary, means that they can expect their trips to cost an extra 32 cents for every 10km travelled. The flagdown fare will remain unchanged.

ComfortDelGro added that the temporary fare increase will be reviewed by the end of May and “removed if fuel prices ease”.

The announcement comes weeks after ComfortDelGro announced an earlier increase in taxi fares to help drivers adjust to rising fuel costs and other operating expenses.

We hope commuters will understand that this move is a measure of last resort and will be removed once fuel prices return to reasonable levels.
Mr Jackson Chia, CEO of ComfortDelGro Taxi

Mr Jackson Chia, the chief executive officer of ComfortDelGro Taxi, said the decision to introduce the temporary fuel-linked fare hike was taken after very careful consideration.

Global oil prices have increased by over 50 per cent in the last six months, of which about a third occurred last month alone.

This resulted in petrol prices rising beyond the S$3 mark, battering the earnings of both taxi and private-hire drivers.

Due to the fuel price surge, ComfortDelGro said its drivers have seen their daily fuel costs increase by between S$3.55 and S$13.50 in the last month alone.

“The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has wreaked havoc on global fuel prices… and even though we have been absorbing a large part of the increase in fuel costs so that our drivers can enjoy a lower rate of S$2.20 per litre of petrol, compared to the S$3.05 per litre if they had pumped outside, they are still paying close to 14 per cent more than what they were paying in February,” said Mr Chia.

He added that even with the ongoing rental rebates that have been in place since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and a one-off rental rebate of S$90 to its drivers, Mr Chia said they are still finding it difficult to make ends meet.

“We hope commuters will understand that this move is a measure of last resort and will be removed once fuel prices return to reasonable levels,” he said.

This is the second time that a temporary fuel-linked fare has been introduced by ComfortDelGro.

The first took place in July 2008 when a 30-cent fuel surcharge was introduced as a result of persistent and sustained increases in fuel costs, said the operator.

At the time, Brent crude oil, a major benchmark price for purchases of oil worldwide, hit an all-time high of US$147.50.

The fuel surcharge was removed four months later in November when global fuel prices eased.

In response to TODAY's queries, Mr Neo Chee Yong, the deputy general manager of Prime Taxi, said his firm is consulting the Public Transport Council and the Land Transport Authority on the "operational aspects of a temporary surcharge", which he said are unclear at the moment.

"We will comment after we get clarity on this," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Yeow How Pheng, the head of Strides Mobility Services, said the company is "closely monitoring" the income of its drivers to assess how best to assist them.

TODAY has sought comments from other taxi operators on whether they will be implementing measures similar to ComfortDelGro's.

Both the ride-hailing platform Grab and its competitor Gojek had earlier announced that they were introducing temporary fee increases to help their drivers with higher operating costs.

Gojek announced on March 19 that it was imposing a temporary flat fee — 50 cents for rides less than 10km in distance and 80 cents for rides beyond that distance — on all trips to help its private-hire car drivers cope with rising fuel prices.

The “driver fee” will kick in this Thursday and will be in place for two months until at least May 31.

Grab similarly announced on March 25 that it was putting in place a temporary fee for its transportation services from this Friday.

The driver fee of 50 cents per ride extends to all transport services except the standard taxi service and is expected to last until May 31.

Grab said the fees will "fully" go to its driver-partners.

Related topics

fuel price comfortdelgro taxi cost of living

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