ComfortDelGro cabbies to pay more commission to company from January, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

ComfortDelGro cabbies to pay more commission to company from January

Just weeks after ComfortDelGro raised fares “to help cabbies defray higher operating cost”, Singapore’s largest taxi operator announced that it will collect more commission from its drivers.

From Jan 1, 2024, all ComfortDelGro cabbies will have to pay 7 per cent of fares collected from app- and phone-booked rides – up from 5 per cent now. A company spokesman on Dec 27 confirmed this change, which was reported by Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao on Dec 26.

“We will be increasing the commission due to higher cost of operation, especially in the areas of technology maintenance, system upgrading and higher financial charges for cashless transactions,” the company spokesman said.

“However, to cushion the financial impact on drivers, from Jan 1 to March 31, 2024, we will waive the commission fees for all completed bookings with fares of $9 and below, excluding platform fee and cashless administration fee.”

The 2 percentage point increase in commission is not insignificant. Based on a $15 fare, a driver will pay $1.05 in commission, or 30 cents more than he does now. If he completes 20 such rides, he would pay $21, instead of $15 now – or $6 more a day.

Multiply this increase by ComfortDelGro’s fleet of some 8,800 taxis, and it stands to gain $52,800 more a day, or $15.8 million more a year, based on 300 days.

On Dec 13, ComfortDelGro raised taxi fares, with the starting fare for a Hyundai i40 taxi going up from $3.90 to $4.40, and that for a Toyota Prius or a Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid cab climbing from $4.10 to $4.60. Charges for distance travelled and wait times went up by one cent to 26 cents for every 400m under 10km, and every 350m after 10km.

The company said the fare for a 10km ride during off-peak hours would go up by 6.8 per cent, or 94 cents, from $13.80 to $14.74. If a cabby does 20 such trips daily, he pockets $18.80 more.

ComfortDelGro added that it had introduced a revised loyalty scheme in April. The new scheme apparently offered better benefits, such as more rental-free days and reduced rental rates. Separately, a 10 per cent rental waiver introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic will be made permanent from Jan 1.

Veteran cabby Robin Wong, 71, was not pleased, however, with the commission increase.

“Of course it is good for the company, but it is no good for drivers,” the ComfortDelGro hirer of 20 years said. “GST (the goods and services tax) is going up by 1 percentage point. Why is the commission increase 2 percentage points?”