Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Typically Stupid Taxi Driver Kranji

Mr Keith Perron informs the following on 13/08/2012:

I would want to inform you that taxi and taxi drivers in Singapore suck. I’ve live in Taiwan for more than 10 years and the longest I ever waited for a taxi was 10 minuets and that was during a typhoon. When there is no typhoon the longest you can wait is 6 mins. When I was last in Singapore a few weeks ago I called and called and called and also waited at a taxi stand for more than 45mins. Here in Taipei I can go outside and get a taxi in less than 4 mins.

When I was in Singapore I needed to head to Kranji. I work for the BBC World Service and had to do some work at the BBC Far East Relay Station. 1st the taxi driver refused to drive that far, then when I got another taxi he wanted me to pay 15 dollars extra because of the distance. Then I got into an argument with him about the way. Hell I go to Singapore 20 to 30 times a year I know my way around, I know to get to the relay station in Kranji. He wanted to go another way. but I said no because it would add 20mins to the journey. Then I took out my GPS and showed him the way the motherfucker wanted to argue and said my GPS was wrong. When we got to the road where the relay is located he refused to drive to the gate because he said the road was to narrow, this is a 15min walk. This is total rubbish we have had 18 wheel rigs drive down when delivering transmitter and antenna parts.

I’m sorry and don’t take it the wrong way. But in all honestly I really hate the Singaporean taxi drivers. As far as I’m concerned they are lowest shit in your country.

In Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai taxi service is far better. With all my years in East and South East Asia I have only come across shit taxis in Singapore.
Will is change? I doubt it.
Keith Perron, Director General
PCJ Radio International, BBC WS Asia/Pacific

We couldn't agree more, sir. Thank you for sharing your esteemed thoughts on this humble site.


  1. Here I must disagree with your reply, Lee Fong, I will address the complaint later.

    The writer calls someone a 'motherfucker' and says all taxi-drivers are shit, compares taxis in Taiwan to here. He's making outlandish statements and generalising and you agree and go so far as calling them esteemed thoughts? Don't forget as he puts it, he's not some new tourist in town, plus he's the BBC's DG for Radio in Asia and the West Pacific. He should know better and be able to write in and address his complaint in a more balanced way. After all the BBC is known for balanced views, but Mr Perron seems content to force his myopic perceptions in 1 broad stroke.

    Come, come, courtesy works both ways. Just because a few are bad, does it mean all are too? So if a few policeman, priest, monk etc are accused and convicted of crimes, does it mean all other policemen, priests and monks are not be trusted or regarded similarly?

    You should have told him, he's right to be angry and there are some bad apples, and how or who, he should be channeling the information to.

    Ok, let's look at the issues he raised:

    First and foremost: Comparing taxis (and drivers) here and other parts of the world serves no purpose. Taxi fares are different, rentals are different, routes are different (here East to West is 50km, N to S just 30km), competition is different, vehicle population is different etc. Not to mention reporting here is also different, try reporting a complaint to the authorities in other countries and see if anything can get done or not?

    So he should drop the Taiwan bit. Next he said he waited at a taxi stand for 45 mins and kept calling on end with no success.

    I am sorry but he should have known better given his experience. If you are in a taxi stand that is in the last stretch of a 1 way road, or with many stands ahead of you, obviously you are gonna be served last. I tell my family members please don't be silly and wait more than 20 mins for a cab. If you can't get 1, it's probably during the peak period or situations I mentioned above, you are probably not gonna get 1 any time soon. Take a bus or train to an area where there's less likely chance of people waiting for cabs. Or if you must, take a cab later when demand subsides.

    For calls, the same applies, if it's busy means it's busy, not enough cabs are able to meet the surge of demand for that period. What can you do? Expect callers ahead of you to surrender their right to book a cab just for you? Anyway this issue is not the driver's. It's the companies and LTA to work this one out. We just pick and go, it's not like we get to answer the calls ourselves and decide whom we are gonna take.

    And another thing, if he or anyone had previously called a cab (I'm not sure how many times), but did not wait for it, instead hopped on the next available one passing by, then his number or name will be 'blacklisted' or given a much lower priority in the system - it's all computerised, the computer offers/assigns the cabs.

    So this is something only Mr Perron can answer. If he had done so, I'm not surprised the system isn't answering his call sooner.

    To be continued.

  2. Now let's go the more justifiable part of his complaint.

    Taxi A refused to pick him up because of the location. This is wrong and a serious offence. This LTA will investigate if he makes a complaint.

    Taxi B even worse, over charging by $15. This is a much more serious offence. Mr Perron should have taken the cab nonetheless and videotaped the incident and thereafter filed his complaint. The company will re-imburse the $15, maybe more, but the driver will be taken to task. He could very well lose his license for this. Or he could ask for a receipt with that $15 extra in it and insist on it. That's documentary proof as well.

    For the last cab, again the driver is obliged to go by Mr Perron's route, near or far. Again a video is good. And insist he drop him exactly where he wants to drop, if it's legal and not dangerous to do so. the driver refuses, don't pay him or don't pay him in full. Ask him to call the police, and explain to the policeman your reasons. Explain you'll be reporting to the LTA and make sure you do - it's an offence not pay the fare (unless you report and make the payment to the company after the LTA report). The policemen also cannot force you to pay.

    By this time, I think the driver will know he's in deep shit (to borrow Mr Perron's words) and would probably be much more accommodating and agreeable to a discount.

    So that's what Mr Perron could and should do in future.