|Taxi Drivers Strike in S.Korea|
I replied "No. I am neither bisexual nor I've ever had sex with males. By saying I am a prostitute, I meant that I am a taxi driver. A taxi driver in Singapore is nothing but a prostitute. Think of it. We have this blood-sucking government agency called LTA in our back, day in and day out, busy summonsing cab drivers to their offices, pulling their pants down and verbally screwing them. Then we have the blood thirsty taxi operators that don’t bother fixing the cabs properly like changing worn-out tyres and removing ABS air-bags and as a result cab drivers end up having accidents and dying. Then you have the traffic cops giving you questionable tickets for picking or dropping in a bus lanes. To top it all is having to deal with all those mentally sick, drunken ang-moh and fare beaters. Like prostitutes, we have to service our customers without questions once they land their buttocks on our seats. Who is around to protect us and hear our complaints".
"Having to go through all these if it is not a prostitution what would you name a cab driving profession here in Singapore? A professional road pilot?. But, thankfully no other job would give an old man like me $25,000 a year. And 99% of my customers are GOOD people! Thank you, Sir & Madam, truly from the bottom of my heart!. But, I have lost my self respect and dignity for that f...king $25,0000 per year."
- Taxi commuters are unhappy with sporadic fare increases, complex fare structures and surcharges, difficulties in getting a cab, poor customer service, etc.
- Taxi operators are facing difficulties in maintaining their bottom line with increasing operating costs, higher COE, hirer issues, meeting regulatory standards, etc.
- Taxi drivers are forever grouching on their hardship in earning a decent income with increasing competition on the road with more taxis, increase running costs and taxi rental, no protection or social safety nets whatsoever, etc.
All these grievances and issues are interlinked and nobody is able to devise a system to satisfy all the different needs which has no obvious pattern.. Sadly, this sorrowful situation had been going on for the last 28 years since taxi industry was deregulated in 1985. Like Mr Han Fook Kwang (Managing Editor of ST) said, "no transport minister had the appetite to intervene in these issues". But rightly, our transport minister ought to take the lead to set the RIGHT PRICE and proceed from there. Allowing the "monopolistic" COMFORT to set taxi fares is essentially wrong, for obvious reasons. All the woes in the taxi industry requires decisions that ONLY the G can make.
Most importantly, before our G goes about tackling the complex issues in a fundamental way like setting the right price, they must first of all remove or reduce all the taxes and revenues derive from the taxi transportation industry, like ERP charges, COE, road taxes, fuel taxes and what have you taxes.
Essentially, our G should subsides taxi transportation like buses and trains. If this is done, everything else will fall beautifully into place. Taxi commuters will enjoy lower fare with lots of taxis plying the road. Taxi driver will also enjoy lower rental, fuel cost, more passengers and additional monetary incentives for picking more fares per shift. Taxi operators will have lower operating costs, less un-hired cabs in garages and lower hirer turnover. Everybody is happy!
Is it that simple?. Am I dreaming?