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Slight rise in overall satisfaction with taxi, private-hire car services but lower scores for wait times: Survey

SINGAPORE — Overall satisfaction levels among users of taxi and private-hire car services in Singapore remained high in 2021, inching up last year after falling slightly in 2020, an annual survey has found. 

Overall satisfaction levels with taxi and private-hire car services in Singapore remained high in 2021.
Overall satisfaction levels with taxi and private-hire car services in Singapore remained high in 2021.
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  • Overall satisfaction levels with taxis and private-hire car services inched up in 2021
  • However, satisfaction ratings dropped for wait times for both these services
  • This was revealed in the Public Transport Council’s 2021 point-to-point transport services customer satisfaction survey released on Friday 
  • The overall mean score, which weighs satisfaction of a service attribute with its importance, held steady compared with 2020

SINGAPORE — Overall satisfaction levels among users of taxi and private-hire car services in Singapore remained high in 2021, inching up last year after falling slightly in 2020, an annual survey has found. 

Scores for the wait time for these services and the accessibility of cab stands, however, fell in the Public Transport Council’s 2021 point-to-point transport services customer satisfaction survey released on Friday (Feb 4).

The overall satisfaction levels with taxis and private-hire services rose to 97.5 per cent from 96.8 per cent in 2020. In 2019, the proportion of respondents satisfied with the service stood at 99.3 per cent.

The online survey collected responses from 3,332 taxi and private-hire service users aged 15 and above from Aug 19 to Sept 3 last year. It was carried out by independent market research consultant Consulting Group Asia Insight.

Aimed at understanding customers’ expectations and identifying areas for improvement, the annual survey had previously been conducted through face-to-face interviews but was moved online in 2020 owing to Covid-19 restrictions.

Reflecting the survey results, commuter Lim Jiyoung told TODAY that she has been experiencing much longer waits for a taxi or private-hire car.

It used to be almost immediate but now the app will keep searching for available drivers for 15 minutes or more. And this doesn't only happen during peak hours, it happens during off-peak hours as well.
Commuter Lim Jiyoung, 27, on booking a private-hire car

While she does not mind the longer seven to 10 minutes waits for a taxi or private-hire car to arrive, the 27-year-old architect said it has been frustrating having to wait to get matched with a driver on a booking app.

“It used to be almost immediate but now the app will keep searching for available drivers for 15 minutes or more,” said Ms Lim. “And this doesn't only happen during peak hours, it happens during off-peak hours as well.''

This has led Ms Lim to arrive late for a number of appointments and she said she has recently taken to leaving her home earlier and taking public transport instead.

For the survey, respondents were asked to indicate their satisfaction with a certain service aspect based on their most recent journey in a taxi or private-hire car, on a scale of one to 10 with 10 being “very satisfied”.

Those who gave a score of six and above were deemed to be satisfied with the particular attribute.

The service attributes they were asked to rate were:

  • Waiting time 
  • Ease of booking 
  • Service information 
  • Ride comfort 
  • Driver’s knowledge of routes 
  • Customer service provided by the driver 
  • Safety of the service 
  • Taxi stand accessibility (for taxi trips only) 

More users were dissatisfied with the accessibility of taxi stands, with satisfaction levels falling to 90.7 per cent from 95.9 per cent in 2020.

In terms of waiting times, the level of satisfaction among taxis also fell to 91.8 per cent from 93.2 per cent in 2020. For private-hire services such as Grab and Gojek, however, satisfaction on this measure rose slightly to 88.3 per cent from 87.8 per cent.

Respondents were also asked how important they placed each of these service attributes. The respondents’ satisfaction ratings were then individually weighted by how important they rated the attributes to obtain the mean satisfaction rating for taxi and private-hire car services.

Overall, the mean satisfaction score for both taxis and private-hire services in 2021 was unchanged at 8.4 out of 10 compared with 2020. In 2019, the mean satisfaction score was 8.1.

For waiting times, the mean scores for taxis fell to 8.2 from 8.4, and for private-hire cars, it fell to 7.6 from 7.8.

The service attribute ranked as most important by commuters was safety, as was the case in 2020. This was followed by ease of booking and the driver’s knowledge of routes.

Related topics

private hire cars taxis commuters

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