Friday, February 12, 2010

Those disappearing cabbies

My friend, Anne Wong, has another complaint. This time it has to do with taxis...or rather, the disappearing taxis.

Here's her grouse:

"I am old but NOT that old as not to notice things and not speak up!

Really, WHAT GIVES when it comes to taxis in Singapore?

I bumped into two friends at Hong Kong Airport just the other day and we were all bemoaning the difficulty in hailing a taxi in Singapore.

Tonight, Feb 9, my husband, a friend and I tried to hail a taxi along Claymore Road, not too far from Orchard Road's infamous 'entertainment' area when we were ignored by taxis with red roof-lights, green roof-lights and no roof-lights (I cannot vouch for the lattermost as we had just enjoyed a convivial dinner). Some sped up as we (two Caucasian men and one Singaporean Chinese) waved our arms.

Yet, when we walked on to the taxi-stop near Orchard Towers, there were taxis galore.

One - driven by a man in a turban - was even being slapped roundly on its boot and bonnet in a friendly way by an amiable but somewhat sloshed Aussie. What was even more interesting was the exchange of rather ripe epithets between the "bhai" driver and the Aussie passenger!

Anyway, as our French visitor hopped into a taxi, we peered at the driver (who looked earnest and eager) and reassured our friend that he was in clean, green and SAFE Singapore.

But back to my point, which is: WHY is it impossible to hail a taxi of whatever roof-light colour just around the corner and not more than 200 metres away when there are lots of them near Orchard Towers?

One of my friends later said this is what comes from living in a red light district.

Well, I can only say that days of the discriminating cabby have not passed on...


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  3. Pern Yew, could you help everyone else by sending this to LTA? I hope they will do random spot check EVERY month, to keep cabbies on their toes. And I mean checking if there are cabbies who refuse to pick up customers even when displaying Green signs. Another one that really kills my day: Cabby who asks "Where you going?" And decides not to take me. And it's not that he is on a "change shift" mode. It's actually not hard for LTA to do that, just once a month, on a random day, and it will "kill one stop many".