Increase in flag down fares: ComfortDelGro

Alicia Wong

Commuters will soon have to pay more when they flag a ComfortDelGro taxi or book a cab in advance.

ComfortDelGro Group announced on Monday revisions to its taxi fare structure, which includes both increases and decreases in fares and surcharges.

The move seeks to match supply with increasing demand for taxi services, said ComfortDelGro, the largest taxi operator in Singapore.

The changes, which will take effect from 6am on 12 December, include:

1) Increasing flag down fares by 70 cents for limousine taxis and 20 cents for other models; raising advance booking fees by $2 for limousine taxis and $2.80 for other models.

The move seeks to help taxi drivers cope with higher costs of living stemming from inflation, said ComfortDelGro.

Advanced booking fees are raised to encourage more drivers to accept such bookings, the company added.

2) Extending city area surcharge to Sundays and public holidays. The $3.00 surcharge is currently only in place from 5pm to midnight, Mondays to Saturdays.

The operator said this is to attract drivers to the city area, where demand has increased.

3) Reducing peak period surcharge from 35 per cent of the metered fare to 25 per cent, but extending the evening peak hour charges to Sundays and public holidays.

The operator said demand for taxi services has grown during traditionally off-peak hours such as Sundays and public holidays. The surcharge is reduced because of changes to the peak hour timings. (Refer to graphic.)

4) Reducing booking fees by 20 cents but extending peak period booking to Sundays and public holidays.

ComfortDelgro now handles 2.4 million bookings a month, a 47 per cent increase from 2007. To cater to the high demand, changes include the peak period charge starting an hour earlier.  

To make bookings more affordable, the operator is reducing the fees. It is also removing the $1.00 public holiday surcharge.

The transport operator said, "Given the combined effect of increases and reductions in feed and surcharges, the new fare of an average 10km trip during the peak period is expected to remain largely unchanged at $12.30."

Chief executive of ComfortDelGro's taxi business Yang Ban Seng said, "With population growth, the opening of the integrated resorts and major shopping malls, as well as a more vibrant night life, taxi demand has increased significantly in recent years. This is especially true for the evenings and weekends."

"The revised fare structure aims to better meet this increased demand for taxis," he said.

The last fare revision was in December 2007.

ComfortDelGro manages a fleet of about 15,700 taxis.