Tuesday, December 6, 2011
No Comfort For Commuters
ComfortDelGro is no run of the mill transport company. It knows its action is implicit direction for other taxi operators to follow. The National Taxi Association (NTA) actually urged the other operators, Trans-Cab, SMRT, Premier, Smart and Prime, to join in the feeding frenzy. This selfish act is a move that will push up inflation which is currently running around two-year highs. In October the transport component, which makes up 16 percent of Singapore's consumer price index, went up by 10.5 percent year-on-year, faster than the 5.4 percent rise in the overall index.
NTA president Wee Boon Kim had the audacity to admit that Comfort Delgro had been in discussion with leaders from two of its branches over the fare issue in the past few months. They probably plotted in secret, and sounded out the official blessing for their greed before making the move. The "win some, lose some" strategy - token 20 cent discount for call booking - is as good as lifted from the government line when the distance-based fare structure was implemented.
You can bet your increased flagdown fare that the head of the Government Parliamentary Committee and Transport, Cedric Foo, won't be making strenuous objection on your behalf. As a matter of fact, he is already making pathetic excuses for the other side, arguing that the taxi industry is deregulated and therefore a free market. The committee he heads is just for show, another wayang to justify the MP allowance.
Let's hope the other cab companies will not sell their soul to the devil. Commuters can rally around and support them, and boycott the government linked entity. For once, let them have a taste of discomfit.