Commuters more satisfied with taxi, private-hire services, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Commuters more satisfied with taxi, private-hire services

Commuters were more satisfied with taxi and private-hire car (PHC) services in 2023 compared with 2022, based on an annual survey conducted by the Public Transport Council (PTC).

The poll of 1,500 commuters found that satisfaction with taxi services increased from a mean score of 8.1 in 2022 to 8.3 in 2023, while satisfaction with PHC services such as Grab and Gojek increased from 7.9 to 8.1 in the same period.

Combined, the two point-to-point (P2P) services saw an increase in mean satisfaction score from 8 in 2022 to 8.2 in 2023.

The council said there was significant improvement in satisfaction levels for waiting time and ease of booking for both services.

Some 89 per cent of commuters were satisfied with waiting time for taxis, up from 78 per cent in 2022, while the satisfaction score increased from 7.1 to 8.

For PHC services, the score for waiting time increased from 6.9 to 7.5, with 85 per cent of commuters satisfied – up from 75 per cent in 2022.

The score for ease of booking taxis increased from 7.8 in 2022 to 8.2 in 2023, while that for private-hire cars rose from 8 to 8.4.

PTC had surveyed commuters between Aug 14 and 27 in 2023, and those who gave a score of 6 and above were deemed satisfied.

Respondents were commuters who took P2P services three times or more in a typical week, and had used the services on the same day of completing the survey.

They rated safety as the most important attribute for P2P services, followed by ease of booking and waiting time.

Associate Professor Walter Theseira, head of the urban transportation programme at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, attributed the improvement in satisfaction with waiting times to greater supply of P2P services.

He noted that the demand for such services returned very quickly in 2022 after the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to insufficient driver and vehicle supply to meet the demand.

As service providers made more vehicles available and more drivers returned to the industry, the balance of supply was restored, reducing waiting times, Prof Theseira said.

He added that higher fares for P2P services have attracted more drivers to join the industry, and also managed the demand for these services.

In a Facebook post, Senior Minister of State for Transport Amy Khor said P2P service operators recruited more drivers and increased the taxi and PHC fleet from around 60,500 vehicles in 2022 to around 67,000 vehicles in 2023.

The number of drivers with a valid private-hire car vocational licence increased from 48,309 in December 2022 to 54,156 in December 2023, based on figures from the Land Transport Authority.