Concerned that taxi companies would act to restrict 3rd party apps of which they have no profit in, the Executive Advisor (and also Assistant Secretary General in NTUC) Ang Hin Kee was reported to have told the LTA this:
“Have more commuters been able to get a cab during peak hours? Are more taxis plying the roads during peak hours? If, already we are achieving that, then I think the taxi availability indicators can stay as they are or be adjusted downwards.”
What taxi companies could do, perhaps out of jealousy of these apps, is to convince the LTA that such apps have been taking taxis off the roads. Thus making them “unavailable”.
Ang Hin Kee continues, “You cannot ignore the fact that the apps have been a very effective way of matching demand and supply. We should welcome the fact that there are such tools, and therefore you don’t have to use a very crude measure of availability indicators as it is today. We should welcome and be happy with the apps that are helping us meet the requirements”
Today, drivers have to clock at least 250km everyday – a KPI which some drivers have difficulty meeting. These apps help to make their job easier and increase efficiency. The NTUC has been pushing aggressively on the need to be more productive, to do things “easier, safer and smarter“. These apps are pretty smart and I think it would improve productivity instead of reduce it.
What do you think? Do these apps contribute to making taxis “unavailable”? Or are they moving the bar up in terms of efficiency?
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