I love listening to a new story each time I get into a taxi. Recently the taxi driver who picked me up shared with me that he’s 63 years old, but to me he didn’t look anything past 50 something.
He shared that his routine includes getting up at 4am, spending an hour for breakfast and playing games (I assume games on the phone?) and starting his shift at 5am after washing his face. He tries to end each shift by 12.30 in order to spend time with his four grandchildren. And he’s able to sleep easily and knocks off at 10pm. He attributes sleep to his good health.
He did share that he met with an accident and has screws in his spine and is in pain constantly, but tries not to think about it. He said that his dad is still going strong, able to walk at 90 plus.
He also shared with me that it’s hard to get a taxi these days are the taxi fleet has reduced from a height of 18000 pre covid to just 8000 now. This is because the older taxi drivers found it not worth their while and decided to retire instead. Also the government introduced competition in the form of companies like Grab. I’ve heard similar stories from other cabbies.
Previously I feel that this was good for customers and brought the prices down, but lately the surge prices on Grab are pretty scary. If you stick with the traditional comfort delgro blue and yellow cabs you might end up waiting quite a while, before you’re able to get one. This is why I try to leave any destination before peak hour if possible.
Once I had no choice but to pay $29.80 Grab surge price, as I was already late for my doctor’s appointment. I think this is the most I’ve ever paid for a ride and it wasn’t even at peak hour. (To take a bus and MRT would take me at least an extra hour and those fares have increased too. Also many of us just don’t have the stamina and are trying to avoid the peak crowds with viruses like covid and the flu – packed in like sardines it’s quite unavoidable)
I hope the government does something so that it’s better for both the passengers and the people who are transporting passengers as a vocation. Currently I’m reading so many stories about the difficulties in relation to this.
Please let this country not only be for the rich (and lucky), who don’t bay an eye at the exhorbitant COE prices. Yes in Singapore right now you have pay about $100,000 just for the permit to drive a car. So if that’s the case, shouldn’t public transport be affordable and available? Right now demand is outstripping supply. And please don’t tell us to ride a bike. That’s still dangerous and we don’t have the infrastructure for it.