22 October 2007

We stop only for a big pile of cash

I had thought that those vacant taxis circling around nightspots were deliberately waiting for telephone calls for increased revenue while refusing to pick passengers up. However, I learned from a Sunday Times report that apparently, they were actually violating their taxi contract, in a way, touting. They were on the prowl for the ignorant and the naive as to charge them fixed rates of $20.00 to $35.00 per trip. These taxi drivers had this practice for ages. They had also been playing a cat and mouse game with the taxi company inspectors and could easily recognise those inspectors by sight. They also maintained lists of fellow errant drivers as to provide some sort of an early warning system. One of the drivers as quoted in the report was said to have a list of over 130 names.

This really explained quite a bit why we often see empty vacant taxis circling around Clarke Quay and refusing to stop when one tried flagging them down.

Anyway, I take buses and trains.


Thomo the Lost said...

Funny - back un July 2006 I was in Singapore and posted a piece to my blog called Singapore Taxis. It occurred to me when reading your post that the Penny Black pub where we were coming from was, in fact, at Clarke Quay. That night was a little disappointing to me - I had always thought highly of Singapore taxis until then.

Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Wow! This was mentioned in the local papers about two weeks back. The papers specifically mentioned that Clarke Quay was targeted by these predatory taxis. They would charge between twenty to thirty dollars per ride.

I was surprised that you thought highly of our taxis. A lot of us were bemoaning the fact that the taxis here tend to hog the road and were road menaces.

I notice that you have a penchant for military history and wargames. We do still have a small wargaming group here. GMT Games, Decision Games, Avalon Hill, SPI, etc. There is a miniatures wargaming group here somewhere (not of the Warhammer variety).

You could contact some of the wargamers here if you felt the need to play if you were ever here.