Taxis Vanish in Rain as Singapore Gets Congested

I have found he taxi situation in Singapore to be poor. It is tolerable if it doesn’t rain, but even without rain is it not good (it is just too hard to find a taxi and waits are too long), not up to what I would expect from Singapore. Also the subways have become very overcrowded and again not up to the standard for convenience I expect from Singapore.

The root of the transportation problems are excessive population growth without the necessary infrastructure improvement. I think it has been a mistake to grow so much, but if the rapid growth is going to be the policy then the transportation infrastructure should have been managed much better. The rapid growth has many negative impacts beyond transportation: rapidly rising costs, changing culture with huge influx of foreigners, overcrowding, etc..

Taxis Vanish in Rain as Singapore Gets Congested

At 6 a.m. one weekday morning, 64-year-old taxi driver Koh Chia Hock set out to ply Singapore’s roads when it started raining. So he turned around and went home.

“If I go and fetch a customer, it’s very risky,” said Koh, as the heavy traffic raises the chance of an accident that could leave him without earnings while the car is repaired. “I don’t have the stomach for it. I don’t want to drive when it rains.”

Cab drivers like Koh are avoiding the traffic jams that have become a hallmark of Singapore’s tropical rainstorms after a jump in the city’s population and a surge in vehicles clogged roads.

“There are too many cars,” said taxi driver Koh, who says it takes twice as long to get to the city center than when he started driving cabs a decade ago. “It’s not that there are too few taxis, it’s just that if they are not occupied, they are caught in jams.”

The government’s Land Transport Authority says the average waiting time for a taxi in the city center during peak hours in March was 4.1 minutes and average traffic speed in the central business district in 2012 was 28.6 kilometers per hour (18 miles per hour).

Paul Barter… “Averages are very misleading,” said Barter, who has lived in the city-state for 12 years. “Things are not quite as bad as some people have been saying, they’re not quite as rosy as the government has been saying.”

What is happening is not surprising if it wasn’t Singapore; for most locations government mis-managing things is common. but Singapore has done so well for so long that when an aspect of government policy is implemented in a way that is just a bit better than an average (for most governments) it is very disappointing. Basically, Singapore has set expectations that the government will manage things very well, failing to do so is disappointing even if the results are really better than most places. This failure is really about the policy decisions to grow the population so much, so quickly, in my opinion. The transportation failures are a result of that policy, without that course of action transportation likely would be in good shape.

Related: Transportation from Singapore to Johor Bahru, MalaysiaSingapore Light Rail from the AirportSingapore’s Health Care SystemJB to Singapore by Taxi

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One Response to Taxis Vanish in Rain as Singapore Gets Congested

  1. Pingback: Singapore is Expected to Approve a Trial of Self-Driving Taxis in the City | Singapore

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