Wednesday, January 28, 2009

ERP & Taxi - Bad idea?

Many many moons ago a taxi driver once told me that ERP was the reason why people in the city area cannot get taxi. His reasoning was pretty simple: why would a taxi pay for ERP charges to go into the city to get customers? If a customer in the city area wanted to call for a taxi, he would call the customer and asked if he/she is willing to pay for taxi's ERP into the city. Good reason from a micro viewpoint.

The result was plenty of frustration for the common customers. So now there are plenty of different surcharges which bascially raise the fare to somewhat high level that ensures that taxi drivers will want to get customers no matter what.

Do we have happy taxi drivers then? I think not. Now we have plenty of taxis on the road during evening hours, that formed long queues and at times obstruct traffic by reducing the number of lanes. Take a look at Bugis Junction taxi queue and you would understand what I mean. The traffic obstruction posed danger for other road users, and so there are times when Traffic Police would pop by and take photos of the taxi, i.e. dishing out summons to the poor taxi drivers. Here's a picture of another long taxi queue elsewhere (I erased the car plate number or else the taxi driver might be in trouble later).

Incidentally, does anyone realise that ERP timing for 6.30 - 7.55pm is different from 755-8.00pm? Lolz, take a look at the two pictures below, taken at the same spot. Charges from 7.55-8.00pm is half the price of the preceding period.

Oh well, I dunno if we will ever get the ERP system and taxi charges right such that all road users will be satisfied. Lolz.

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