Sunday, 2 December 2012

Taxi Driver Needs Witnesses, Defu Bus Depot

Ms Lindy Lim informs the following on 23/11/2012:

I am a Comfort Taxi relief driver. I came to the defu bus depot to buy diesel.

I arrived at hougang depot on the 24/04/2012 at 3.30pm. It was a raining day and the depot diesel kiosk lane was crowded. Buses and cabbies were refilling diesel at that point of time. I waited less than a minute, the kiosk keeper waved to me and signal me to drive to lot no.6 which was just next to the cashier.

While I was coming out of my car I had a great fall onto the ground after which I noticed that the cemented flooring was greasy and wet. I tried very hard to grip or hold on to something whatever is near me to prevent falling onto the ground but I failed. I rest on the ground and after awhile the next taxi(citicab sonata) arrived queuing behind me. He saw me on the floor so he get out of his vehicle to help me. He then get some cabbies and the keeper pull me aside and call for an ambulance. Then I was send to CCG.

After that I was told that my hand was broken and as a relief driver, I couldn't claim for my loss of income and medical for the injury as
I have no insurance coverage under the relief driver.
Now I engaged a lawyer to claim against negligence. And I need the support from all comfort taxi drivers, please help me.

If anyone witnessed this incident, please drop me an email so that I can put you in touch with this taxi driver, thanks.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Positive Driver SHC5508J

Ms Khor Shu Kim informs the following on 10/11/2012:

Hi, I am writing in to compliment a taxi driver.

On 9th November 2012, I boarded this cab with a Malay uncle who offered to give my mother and I a lift to where we were heading to. We told him that we found a lost wallet but was unable to find the correct destination after searching for so long, so the cab driver took out his map trying to find the place but there was no such address in the map (the place turned out to be a block unit in a condominium).
The cab driver dropped the Malay uncle first and after he alighted, he switched off the meter and said he'd not charge us. My mum and I were completely shocked and wanted to pay him but he obliged. We took some time before we could find the condo.
I felt that he should be complimented! My mother and I thought that despite us doing a good deed, we also met 2 nice Singaporeans!

Name of taxi driver: Wong Choong Mum, taxi plate number: SHC5508J
While it is hard to find such sensible and sincere drivers these days, we are more than happy to highlight the good alongside the bad cases. Please make this formal by sending a feedback through the LTA online feedback form as well.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Understanding Driver Newton

Ms Jessie informs the following on 08/11/2012:

Caught a cab back from the city yesterday with a lovely friendly driver to Newton road. Did not realise until it came time to pay that I only had a couple of dollars and it turned out there was no card machine. The driver thankfully let me pay just a couple of dollars but naturally I felt sad as the driver missed out on the rest of the fare. The following evening I went to catch a taxi home from the city again and of all the 25,000 cabs I managed to get the same driver. He was delighted to see me and I made sure he got the money he missed out on and a little extra. Thanks to all the lovely taxi drivers in Singapore!

In future, you could always take note of the plate number and send in a feedback note through the same LTA online feedback form so that the compliment and appreciation can be formally recorded. Such experiences of positivity from taxi drivers is painfully rare. Hopefully this will change through our collective efforts.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Taxi Driver Perspective: Errant Cabbies vs Demanding Passengers

John Andrew informs the following on 23/09/2012:

Hi, I am John Andrew, Just recently knighted as a Cab/Taxi Driver with Comfort Cab these past 6 months. I was serving the Army as a Regular for the past 35 years. After all these years serving the Nation I decided that I shall be my own Boss and at the same time attend to my Charity works, social services as well as Counselling in order to keep my Counselling Psychology Degree current. Well so much about myself and now to write my views and observation on the topic I have chosen to share.

I do agree that we do have reckless, unruly drivers etc. but we Cabbies do too have very highly demanding passengers too. There are passengers (pax) who thinks cabbies should know every "creeks and nooks" in Singapore. I beg to differ. Singapore as we native Singaporeans know for a fact that roads, buildings, places in and around Singapore changes over time and it is tough to keep track of the changes. And the routes that changes over time.

Unlike the Countries I have travelled for e.g Australia, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, New Zealand... These places, roads and buildings remains unchanged. So is it right to say been born in a particular Country or commonly known as natives of one Country, Cabbies should know all the places in Singapore then I must agree to disagree to say the least. Sadly, it isn't the case. And I want to reiterate that when a cabby asked which route you prefer to take does not necessarily means we do not know the way,instead we cabby want to know your preferred to avoid being accused of taking a longer distance.

In these past 4 months, driving a cab in Singapore, please allow me to share my experiences or my encounters with Pax and you be the judge:

a. As far as possible, I will almost always ask my pax after greeting them, "is there any specific route you want me to take". And normally the answer from the Pax would, "Fastest and the Shortest route." No Thank You, No Please, and No Greetings Returned.

b. Most pax especially, the Foreigners, almost always assume (ass u me) that our Cabbies are all out to cheat on them by taking the longest route, checking our taxi meter with ostrich neck movements, and worst still taking out their toy phones and googling the route we are traveling to penalize us for not going the other direction etc. My view on this is, Your shortest route may not be my shortest route. As a cabby, I choose to travel routes that are less congested or faster because I rather pick more passengers at various stops then to be stuck with one pax for long. it does not pack monetary sense.
N.B: I try as often to explain that in Singapore Cabbies who are found flouting the rules or cheating pax in terms of taking longer than perceived routes can be penalized by LTA.

c. Then there are Pax who books a call and at the same time waits on a another Taxi by the by. And the moment a taxi comes along their way they take that taxi and cancels your booking. This has happen many many times with me and I am certain it happens with other cabbies too. Not bearing in mind that usually when a call is made and when take the bookings we have to make u-turns and turns to rush to the callers location only to disappointed with a rude cancellations. And this happens far too often that affects our business as it is becoming too rampant. And most of the time it's a foreigner who abuses the booking system here in Singapore.

d. I have also encountered pax who directs you through a certain route and when they suddenly gets disorientated with the route accuses the Cabbies by remarking, "You take on from here you are the cabby and you should know the routes? Come on excuse me, you bring us to a unknown destination or location and ask us to navigate from there is that fair on us Cabbies.

e. And to make matters worst the insist on paying us less than what is shown on the meter as a discount for taking them for a ride so they claimed. Often we Cabbies will just bite the bullet and receive our dues rather to engage with an argument with these sort of nasty pax or cheapo pax.

f. Then there are pax who expects you to drive fast so that they can reach their location faster because they are late for work or their appointments etc. If we comply we are good Cabby otherwise they rant and vent their grudges and anger on us.

g. How about pax who makes a booking and make you wait 5 to 10 mins but if you make the pax wait 2 to 3 mins they grumble and cry mother and cry father. Looks like damn you do and damn you don't.

h. But having said all of the above, I must admit we do have great pax who are friendly, greets you with please, thank you and above all treats us cabbies with dignity. But to dwelve into these I shall write about it in my next sharing.

Thank you for reading and forgive me if I sound nagging and intolerant due to lack of patience and understanding. God Bless and Have a Blessed Day.

Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Taxi Driver Perspective: Be a Considerate Passenger

'Sir Nelspruit' informs the following on 13/09/2012:

Let me add some further points/perspective to the 3 written earlier.

d) Passengers Staying in Nearby Locations

Now I'm sure this may have happened to many passengers over the course of their ridership in taxis. That is: when you join a taxi queue and then tell the driver your are going nearby. This happens quite frequently to passengers at Changi Airport returning home to places to Pasir Ris/Tampines. In fact I picked up 1 such passenger last night.
Or you perhaps after a night out in town want to go to Newton or Spize River Valley, or if at Woodlands Checkpoint or the Zoo and want to return home to Woodlands. I think you get my point.

What does happen occasionally, is that you get drivers who moan and groan at your destination, or worse driver erratically and abuse you. Some even threaten to drop you off at the expressway! This is totally unacceptable.

Look, you have a right to buy a house where ever you want, and unless the driver is willing to buy you a home at his expense somewhere further, I don't see what justification is there to abuse a passenger. Anyway he doesn't complain when he gets a fare to Jurong or Town (City centre), why must he complain when he gets Tampines (from the airport).

There is a golden rule - if you queue you don't complain or choose, when you get not so good fares. You don't want to experience this, don't queue up. Like last night, I was in 2 minds should I stay back at the airport for a fare or go somewhere else, say East Coast? Always a possibility I could get Tampines and make my time waiting not so productive. It is a risk I took, and when you gamble, there's always a possibility you might not win. So why should I take my frustration out on the passenger, who is totally innocent and wants to go home? He or she is not asking for a free ride is she?

So remember this, no choosing when lining up, tell the driver if he don't like to face such possibilities, don't queue up, he can put his change shift location and ask normal street fares, but in a queue, pick and go wherever the pax wants. Similarly if I was behind a driver who refuses to pick up a fare (the first in line): I will also not pick the fare, instead tell the fare to take the first one or complain. If the fare does get into my cab, rest assured I will ask the pax for his details so I can register a complain with LTA.
You can't always expect to have your cake and eat it. Don't be bullied by such tactics.

That said, sometimes a bit of understanding is not misplaced. Sometimes during street hire, a driver may ask you for your destination, maybe he or she has a prior appointment with a little bit of time to kill or wants to head to a particular destination for that appointment (could be a family matter as is usually the case). I think in such circumstances a little bit of give and take is fair, because the LTA has this stupid rule that changing shift is purely for that - changing shift, so if the driver's family member has something on that he has to attend, he cannot put changing shift only busy - which is a waste, since he can help some passenger going to that location he is going.

I know that the reason for not allowing this, is because some abuse this and always put changing shift to avoid going to 'unproductive locations' but I think a bit more common sense and a proper case to case study in determining what punishments (if any) should be meted out. But the irony is that a single hirer with no relief can never put changing shift, he can only put busy! So if I am such a driver and want to go home to AMK and stop for the day, I am not allowed to put changing shift because I have no relief! LTA it appears only makes rules to punish but not rules to study and understand the problems on the ground, causing such rules to have to be continously flouted, because it's not practical.

e) Card Payments

It is true that there has been a lot of technology in place to encourage a more cashless society. And it is not misplaced, it is a good idea and saves you the trouble of always drawing money to pay for stuff, some of which may be spur of the moment needs or buys. Imagine having to draw cash every single time - that can be quite a hassle!

However, there are certain things to remember, when you use a card - a) some shops demand a minimum purchase for using it b) you definitely pay more for it and most crucially the following - c) you must have cash in your account to pay for it and d) the system has to be working to accept such payment - your card could be unreadable or the system might be down. So there is always a definite risk in paying by card that such a payment might not be available.

Now taxis are not fixed shops, where you can terminate the purchase by not buying the goods. In taxis you pay for a service like a meal in a restaurant, after the service has been provided. If you did not bring sufficient cash, then things can be sticky and lead to problems both for yourself and the driver.
So if you intend to pay by card, please check before boarding that the system is working in the cab or that the machine can accept your type of card. (Different companies and taxis have different operating systems, so not all cards are acceptable by certain machines).

Of course there are some cabbies who refuse cards for some reason or the other - again fairly or unfairly to the pax's point of view. I am not trying to justify such actions, but I understand why. If I am a hirer (the one who leases the cab), I would have no problems with card payment. Why? Because payment goes directly into my account and the company can deduct the rental from it and I only need to top up the difference if any. It saves me the time to raise the figure and deposit into the bank. Therefore the more passengers paying by card, the better.

But if I am the relief, then it might be so good. Why? Because I have to pay the daily rental and diesel consumption by cash daily (to the hirer) and pocket whatever difference. Therefore as a relief I must have a certain amount of cash 'to roll' daily. Add to the fact that payments made by card after 10pm get deposited the day after (not the next day at 6pm), and payments made after 10pm Thursday only become available at 6pm on Monday (Tuesday if a public holiday is in between), and you can see a problem I will face, if I need cash to pay for my and my family needs on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, not forgetting that I still have to pay the rental and diesel in cash too. This of course if I drive with Comfort, other companies card payment return system (to the driver) might take a few more days longer.

So therein lies a problem that remains up to now. Perhaps it's time for companies to look at this issue better and offer better incentives or rebate for card payments to their drivers, instead of leaving them to drivers to have to choose between offering better service to the passenger or their family needs. Between the 2, I am sure you know which the driver will choose.

In short, by never addressing problems for drivers, companies or the authorities in drawing rules, inevitably make the passengers bear the brunt of whatever flaws they have in their rules, even if these rules are supposed made to 'help passengers or ensure better service'.

Back to my suggestion. I think it's fair if your trip is over $15 and you pay by card, if you're short of cash. But try to have at least $10-15 in cash before boarding a cab. I think it saves the hassle of having to find an ATM along the way. Of course sometimes the system is genuinely down (my cab's system has a mind of it's own, sometimes it's ok, sometimes it accepts only credit card but not NETs - I dunno why and really I don't have the time to drive down and get a full system check and deprive the hours needed to find fares).

Whatever it is (I do realise sometimes some pax have to pay my cards issued by their company for claims), always check before boarding and where possible pay by cash, if you can.

f) Please Do Not Eat in a Cab

You heard the saying - 1 man's meat is another's poison. So try not to consume food in a cab. If you must, ask permission first from the driver. If he allows, well and good, if not, then wait until your destination. Eating in cabs is not allowed, but nobody bothers. There will never be a fine for this - just another 'rule' that has lost its' practicality.

But eating does pose some problems for the driver and the passenger after you. Your crumbs will somehow find its' way into crevices and this will attract cockroaches over time. The smell will linger in cab and future passengers will have to put up with this. Not a very nice thing is it? And the driver has to clean up after you left, especially if you left used tissues and wrappers behind.

And not all food smells nice, I am not a Muslim, but I don't like pork, so the smell of pork in the cab can be quite nauseating to me, what more a Muslim passenger later. The same goes for other meats like beef for instance or fried food. Try leaving fried food in an air-conditioned setting for 20 minutes, the smell of oil will permeate the room.

If you're hungry eat first then board the cab, multi tasking is not appreciated here. I won't pick passengers eating food while hailing for a cab. But I have had some passengers ask me nicely to eat in the cab, and this I do allow, advising them to eat carefully while I drive slower and open the windows.

So a bit of common sense please, imagine if I, stranger, got into your family car and started eating, how would you feel?

Ok that's this for now, perhaps a few more things later on. Please feel free to comment on my pointers and giver your reasons whether you agree or not, thanks.
And thank YOU for providing us with such detailed advice!

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Taxi Driver Perspective: Be a Smarter Passenger

'Sir Nelspruit' informs the following on 10/09/2012:

Let me offer some advise, tips and explanations for the taxi passengers.

Now not all of these advise/explanations may sound reasonable, especially if 1 adopts the attitude - Look, the passengers are paying for a service, they deserve to accorded a superior service (where possible) and have every right to demand or have high expectations, - in short - The Customer Is Always Right Policy.
Which on paper, no one can argue, but sometimes the situation on the ground or reality is different, and the passenger has to accede some (to the driver) or forgo some expectations.

The primary duty of the driver is to send the passenger in the shortest/cheapest route to his/her destination, unless otherwise directed. That is the service the customer is paying for, this is the basic requirement, which also includes safety and in relative comfort.
So in order to fulfill/ensure this, here are some things a passenger can do, must understand, expect and sometimes accept.

a) There is almost always no such thing as the Cheapest. Shortest and Fastest route. (There might be some instances but I think it's only like 5% of the time). Here we are assuming normal traffic, not rush hour or when congested.

Fastest normally means taking an expressway, with no traffic lights to worry. And expressways are usually constructed to go around (not into) estates, meaning a loop. So that means going longer distances, as such you will usually pay more, but arrive faster.

Shortest and invariably, cheapest, means you go through normal roads directly to your destination, but you will of course be subject to traffic lights. But if the traffic lights change normally (no congestion at intersections) or if you get a 'green flow' of lights, your fare will almost always be cheaper than going the expressway route . Eg if from Yishun you wanna go to Bishan J8, via the CTE exit AMK Ave 1, you will arrive faster than if you went via Lentor, AMK Ave 6 and 8.

So make up your mind, which you prefer and instruct the driver, and this leads to.....

b) Inform the driver of your destination and instruct him on the route your prefer. Do not assume he will know the route you had intended, unless it's very obvious, say from Clark Quay to Spize River Valley.

Signal your intentions early, don't wait until the last moment or after he's passed the exit or turn off point you wanted. If you go to and from work in a particular way it's better to advise, something I try to ask pax obviously going or coming from work. They are so used to particular route, whether long or short, any deviation can cause anxiety especially if one is running late for work.
Give directions where possible, and if the driver asks for it, please give it instead of being frustrated. Some drivers are new, but some like myself, also don't know the way around certain estates, or only know 1 or maximum 2 ways, which might not be the one you want or it might be much longer.

I know there are some drivers who simply cannot accept being told how or what to do, and they take offence, which is silly and wrong. Unless it's very obvious, then this becomes irritating being reminded where to turn when I already notified you I know the route. But this is a small matter for drivers, but can quite important for passengers. Besides I mean why should you pay more for something you always pay at a certain price day in, day out? I know, I won't be happy about it.

I concede there are definitely some, who will 'act blur' purposely take a longer route in order to gain a few extra dollars. So you should nip this in the bud and give directions. If the driver insists on going his own way ignoring yours or starts to drive erratically, do not get into further arguments, as he's holding the wheel and angry road users inevitably get involved in accidents sooner or later. Instead take a video of this and inform Lee Fong and she'll advise on the steps you need to take. If at any point you feel in danger, call the police, giving your location or intended destination. I'm sure the 999 operator will be able to advise you accordingly.

If the driver just goes the long way or ignores your route, then can still report. Again Lee Fong will advise. However if the driver advises your route might not be such a good idea, say a congestion is ahead / along the way, or he has a better (cheaper or faster) route, it might not be a bad idea to accept his advise.

c) Do not wait too long for a taxi, when there are none available. I think 20-25 mins should be the absolute maximum. Or if after 15-20 mins, still no cab, try booking for one. I mean it's $3.30, which is better, spend that $3.30 or keep waiting for 30 mins or more?

If after calling or IPhone booking, you still can't get through. No point in continuing to wait, call and get more frustrated. Take a bus or train to a location where more taxis are available, or take the bus/train home altogether. Or if you need to take a cab, then wait until the demand subsides.

Waiting at the end of 1 way streets, or the last few taxi-stands in a 1 way street, is not a good idea during the peak of demand, as you'll be served last, if at all.
Unfortunately there is also a CBD surcharge ($3) from 5pm to midnight, meaning that the areas just preceding the zone, might be very hard to procure a cab. If you are waiting at Arab Street, Raffles Hospital, Scotts Road, Keppel Road, Cantoment Road, Outram MRT etc, these are not good locations for catching a cab. Why? Because if the driver drives 500m - 800m more, he will be in the zone and be able to collect that extra $3.

This is wrong you protest, and I accept that, but practically isn't this the obvious thing to do? Isn't it human nature? Another 500m, not even 10 secs, you earn $3, wouldn't you do it if you were in his shoes? You might say you won't but if you drove a cab, and realised that things like rent and diesel have gone up and you need to earn a certain figure to keep your family going, you'd be forced to drive that extra 500m for the $3.

So don't wait just outside the zone for a lengthy period, if there are no cabs available. Walk that 500m, and pay the $3 for saving your time and avoiding getting angry and frustrated. 
Thank you for sharing these pointers!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Taxi Driver Perspective: Not Every Incident Needs to be Reported

'Sir Nelspruit' informs the following on 04/09/2012:

I must admit I have been amused to read your blog and some of the posts.

As a cabby, I realise that yes there are certain incidents that must be lodged and corrective action needs to be taken.

In fact I myself complained against a driver (whose vehicle number incidentally was mentioned in 1 of the complaints made here subsequently). That driver received a 2 week ban and fine from LTA for my complaint.

Yes, genuine complaints should go to LTA as you suggest.

However why my amusement? I think you take things a bit too far and have become over-zealous in your pursuit. Doing so will eventually trivialise the efforts you seek to root out the really bad drivers - those who cheat, overcharge and abuse passengers.

Why I say this? Because you advise every single complainant to refer the matter to LTA. There are certain things like mentioned above that needs drastic enforcement action, but other actions should be done in the appropriate forum (or agency).

You shouldn't be advising complainants who have accidents, near accidents to write to LTA. That is the purview of Traffic Police. Similarly some rude drivers will not be investigated by LTA, that goes to the respective company. In fact LTA has laid the groundwork in dealing with complaints. I'm sure you can retrieve this from their website and post it here.

The issues I mentioned earlier for sure they will investigate but other things are to be done by the respective companies or agencies. But if you advise the public to swamp LTA with every single issue, they will begin to treat some of these with a certain degree of indifference, especially if they realise (I'm sure they should have by now) that these cases were referred by you. These officers are also humans remember and as a former law enforcement officer myself, it's rather to common to suggest - 'Oh here's another complaint send in by that 'complaint queen - teo lee fung'.

I may well be wrong and you can easily say, that it's wrong for them to adopt such an attitude, but as I said, they are humans too, and it's human nature to begin to trivialise things that keep coming for every single thing from 1 source.

And don't forget, LTA is duty bound to hear and investigate both sides. Just because somebody posts something here, doesn't mean it's the whole truth. The driver has a right to defend himself or present a completely different take on what is reported.

I am not taking their side here, but just stating the facts. Some of the complaints here, are rants and you know it. You shouldn't be advising them to write to LTA as such. Disputes over who said what - these are trivial, no matter how the victim sees it. These must be taken up with the company or perhaps a better avenue to shame the driver is to Stomp it or write to the press. I'm sure doing this serves the purpose of the complaint.

Just because a driver goes the wrong way or a slightly longer route does not mean the driver is ill-intentioned to cheat. I have genuinely done this myself sometimes, but I remedy it by offering a fair discount. Anyway I also take cabs and I'm sure you do as well, and it's really very easy to spot if a driver is purposely taking you on a ride. These complaints you can correctly advise to write to LTA as it comes under their purview.

Overcharging, using vulgar language, abusing passenger - these too should go to LTA. But being rude, curt, refusing to help with luggage or some incidents here where driver had a dispute over a $50 note or ran after the pax and shouted - please lah, this one not LTA job.

And you shouldn't brandish all drivers under the same brush. There are good drivers, normal drivers, stiff drivers, slow drivers, 'really blur' drivers as well the bad ones, even those bordering on the criminal side of things. The latter are the ones you should 'sharpen your knives for' or in this case, your pen on.

Of course it's easy as you suggest to dismiss what I say, 'if you can't stand the fire get out of the kitchen' or this is the service industry, it goes with the territory. However the taxi industry here, for drivers that is, is a bit unique. Yes, there is a service to be provided but it's also a self-employment business largely with some guidelines. The primary duty of the driver is to send a passenger from point A to B in the shortest manner, or in a manner requested by the customer.

Let's face it, I can be the best ever driver you meet, super polite, helpful, honest etc, but in the end, big deal. It's not like it's gonna make much difference as long as I take from Point A to B, moreover it's not like you are gonna be taking my cab all the time.
You don't care about the driver as long as he fulfils the primary requirement why you decided to take a cab, to get to your destination. Of course this doesn't mean I can drive crazily or abuse you.

So what I say is this, no need to bother about drivers who appear unfriendly, never smile, are curt. There are always a few like that. But they mustn't cheat and abuse. Some older drivers or middle aged men are like that. These all no need to bother, no need to tip or talk much. Maybe can feedback to the company, that's it. LTA is not gonna suspend them, the company is not gonna fire them (they need to rent their vehicles out remember), nobody is gonna do anything about them, as long as they did the job they were paid to do - send you in the shortest possible way without abusing you.

I am not gonna write about my complaints about passengers because as you say, we are in service industry, we know what comes with the territory. And who can I complain to? Or what purpose does it serve me, as long as the passenger didn't assault me or refuse to pay my fare?

I will be glad to write further if you want and maybe I can offer an insight to some things and maybe even advise. I am not perfect and yes have my faults too, just as I explained to a customer last week, about the route I took. I don't cheat but sometimes I do ask customers for destination before hand, because some days I am tired, and really don't have the energy to go full blast. But I have to drive nonetheless, to earn the minimum for my family and to pay the rental. But I don't do this frequently, although I know it's wrong by law, but that is a risk I feel I have to take sometimes. Just like crossing the road, not everybody is gonna use the crossing, or driving at 60kmh on normal roads, no driver is gonna travel 60kmh on every single road all the time. Sometimes we go 70 or 80, when it's clear to do so. But we do so, knowing that it's risk that if we get caught, we get a fine.

Anyway I wish you well in your endeavours.
Thank you for your considered response at length. We will let the readers make up their minds on whether they should take our advice to report all instances to LTA or heed your recommendation that they ought to practise discretion. Please feel free to submit more of your thoughts - the readers can only benefit from such information.

Inconsiderate Driver SHA4301E Woodlands

Mr Alvin Chia informs the following on 03/09/2012:

Got to complain about this comfort cab driver.
Venue : Woodlands Dr 40 Blk 707
Time : 1805hr (6.05pm)
Car plate : SHA4301E

This Malay driver was parking inbetween 2 loading / unloading lots, for more then 15minutes.
I can't do my unloading! Thus, waited there.
When he's back with 4-5others, I asked him why park in this way?
Answer given was, JUST AWHILE, I was unhappy and said " Should you apologise ?"
The Driver was angry and said I scolded him "Shit", he started to scold all the 4 letters words like "FXXX".....
Rising his voice and scolded for few minutes, until I took out my phone and record his action then he left with his family / guests!
Attached the way he park his cab.....
I think he had spoil the image of taxi driver and comfort!
As usual, we see such ridiculous behaviour from drivers who were doing something silly to begin with. *sigh*

Friday, 31 August 2012

One Taxi Driver's Persepctive

Mr Taxi Taxi informs the following on 28/08/2012:

I been reading your blog Sg Taxi Driver.
Much I have to agree with some of the posted letters. There are some bad taxi driver in us and they are giving us a bad name.
But I don't think all of us is just like that. There are good drivers too.
Sometime it takes two hands to claps. Often the incident / accident /argument happen because either party do not give in. And I mean both party.
I am a taxi driver myself.
Often I too encounter bad driver as well. Trying to filter right even I signal my lights does not get me 
to the next lane, simply the others would not give-in, instead they speedup and cut you off! Some point their middle finger at you too.
Having passengers inside in taxi eating is another common scene. Telling them off pls do not eat and they don't listen, knowing that there will be others passengers coming into later. Their reason - "Just SOME food only la".
They will comply only if I tell them I have just drop off a badly coughing patient I pick up from the hospital before them.
At worse, some passengers run away without paying fare.
To whom can we complain?
Thank you taking the time to write in and I'm sure many will appreciate your input and agree with your perspective. Our mission here is not to label all drivers as stupid but to publicise the horrendous behaviour of the many hooligans in this trade. Yes, there will always be passengers who are too much and are a nightmare for drivers, but this is part and parcel of being in the service industry. A chef cannot say that he hates a hot kitchen and forever complain and behave rudely because of this. As the saying goes, if you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. Drivers are not forced into this profession so if they are going to do it, they should do it properly. But your point is a good one - that drivers have nowhere to turn to when it comes to bad passengers. Well, might I propose then that drivers too write in to us to share their bad experiences so that we can post it up.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Typically Stupid Taxi Driver Kranji

Mr Keith Perron informs the following on 13/08/2012:

I would want to inform you that taxi and taxi drivers in Singapore suck. I’ve live in Taiwan for more than 10 years and the longest I ever waited for a taxi was 10 minuets and that was during a typhoon. When there is no typhoon the longest you can wait is 6 mins. When I was last in Singapore a few weeks ago I called and called and called and also waited at a taxi stand for more than 45mins. Here in Taipei I can go outside and get a taxi in less than 4 mins.

When I was in Singapore I needed to head to Kranji. I work for the BBC World Service and had to do some work at the BBC Far East Relay Station. 1st the taxi driver refused to drive that far, then when I got another taxi he wanted me to pay 15 dollars extra because of the distance. Then I got into an argument with him about the way. Hell I go to Singapore 20 to 30 times a year I know my way around, I know to get to the relay station in Kranji. He wanted to go another way. but I said no because it would add 20mins to the journey. Then I took out my GPS and showed him the way the motherfucker wanted to argue and said my GPS was wrong. When we got to the road where the relay is located he refused to drive to the gate because he said the road was to narrow, this is a 15min walk. This is total rubbish we have had 18 wheel rigs drive down when delivering transmitter and antenna parts.

I’m sorry and don’t take it the wrong way. But in all honestly I really hate the Singaporean taxi drivers. As far as I’m concerned they are lowest shit in your country.

In Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai taxi service is far better. With all my years in East and South East Asia I have only come across shit taxis in Singapore.
Will is change? I doubt it.
Keith Perron, Director General
PCJ Radio International, BBC WS Asia/Pacific

We couldn't agree more, sir. Thank you for sharing your esteemed thoughts on this humble site.

Insane Driver SHD42R Tanjong Pagar

Ms Anne Cheung informs the following on 02/08/2012:

Transcab SHD0024R
On 2/8/2012 I was at the RELC hotel as I had a client meeting there. After the meeting, I decided to take a cab back to the office which was at Tanjong Pagar. A cab stopped for me after a long while of waiting and the taxi driver rolled down his window and good naturedly asked me where I was heading to. I told him Tanjong Pagar. He said okay, and I asked him if he accepted credit card as I had no cash on me at the moment. He said no, but I told him that my office building has an ATM machine right at the entrance, and it wouldn't take long for me to draw money. However, the ATM machine only dispenses $50 notes. He agreed and told me to quickly get on the cab.
5 mins later, I had the rudest shock of my life. He started driving really quickly and honking at drivers on the road. He also started to scold me incessantly, making remarks like 'Why on earth are you going to Tanjong Pagar?! It's so far away, it's almost rush hour already.', I pretended not to hear him as I thought maybe he was having a bad day or something. 
When we finally got to my office, I quickly got down and went to the ATM machine to withdraw money to pay him. He saw the $50 note in my hands and went absolutely ballistic. He made a lot of rude comments like 'Why did you withdraw $50?! ATM got $10 why you don't want to withdraw? You do it on purpose one is it?! So stupid!' At that point I was really incensed as I had already told him BEFORE I got on the cab that I was going to Tanjong Pagar and that the ATM there only dispensed $50 notes. 
Luckily there was a cafe in front so I told him I'll go there and break the note up. As the cafe was rather busy, I had to wait for my turn to speak to the barista. The whole time I was standing in the queue, the taxi driver was just honking at me and going 'AIYAH, why you like that?!' It was especially embarrassing as there were quite a few people around at that point in time. I gave him $10, and I am pretty sure the meter said $7.60, but he kept insisting that it was $8.80 and would only give me $1.20 back in change.
Usually I would have asked the taxi drivers to keep the small change, but this guy just made me really angry for me to even be picking on this matter right now. I asked for a receipt and was asked very rudely 'What on earth do you need a receipt for?!' He started to print the receipt, but before it finished printing, he tore it in half and gave the remains to me, then drove off before I could say anything.
I have never met such a rude taxi driver in my life, and I take cabs very frequently. I am very disappointed with the way he treated me ESPECIALLY after I made my situation clear to him before I even got into the cab.
I have tried to make several calls to Transcab but to no avail. It seems like all my experiences with Transcab have been disappointing to date, and I would urge everybody to boycott this company. 
We are not at all surprised by this type of lunatic driving a taxi. And don't even bother with the cab company. They will just avoid addressing the issue as long as possible and finally just give you a half-hearted reply/investigation. The best approach has always been to go straight to the governing body which is the LTA. Just lodge a quick feedback through their -fill online feedback form and you would have done more with less effort.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Attitude Driver SHD618C Pasir Ris

Mr Peter Ong informs the following on 31/07/2012:

Dear Honorable Minister, Mr Lui, Mr Lionel YEO (STB ) MP, Mr Ang HK, and Miss Jasmine Tan,

From Changi Airport to Pasir Ris Street 21

Date : 31/07/2012
Time Started : 20.13
Time Ended : 20: 28

Receipt Number : 937

We had a terrible, horrible and rude taxi driver , we had experience in our life , when he drive dangerously, hogging the expressways and did not signal when he filter left nor turning lanes.

Two of us, a HK friend, businessman and myself, boarded this Transcab Taxi ( details as above ).

1. The driver was "pissed off " when we told him our destination was Pasir Ris Street 21, did not offer any help with our laggages into the cab.

This was the first shocked my HK friend, was totally unimpressed about this driver.

2. On the way to Pasir Ris, he drove at 55-60 km/per hour, making the trip about 5 mins, hogging PIE / SLE which normally takes less than 3 mins at such hour.

Along exit PIE, exit 1, he almost caused an accident that the cars behind we horning at him, because he was very slow and did not signal left.

At TPE, exit to Pasir Ris, 3 cars from behind, each horned at him to avoid accident, because he was almost close to stationary abou 3-5 km/hr while making the left turn, towards/ undereanth to loyang Avenue, cars were horning at him.

Again at Drive 1, turning to Drive2 and Street 21, vechicles horned and over take him, while he jammed brakes, almost causing rear vehicles to hit us.

3. At Pasir Ris, near block 220, we directed him where to turn left , and he accused us on the wrong direction.

We told him to turn left and pointed left, but he thought LEFT ===> right Turn.

Then he blewed his temper shouting at us, about we telling him should be right not left.

Left was correct along Pasir Ris Street 21 entering into Block 220/221.

4. When we asked for receipt and ask him how much, 3 times, he refused to answer at pointed at the meter on the top , that indicated $8.68. Of cos my HK friend, gave him $ 10, cos the meter show S$ 8.68, then he pointed to another meter ,saying we are blind !!!!!

5. I was equally shocked at his attitude, and I replied, we asked you 3 times and you refused to answer.

6. and he said, he was not happy at the short trip, and indicated additional tips. " Today he is dammed swayed " he said.

7. I told him, I we have paid the airport surcharge and airport tips, what more tips he wants ? Furthermore, he has put us in a dangerous state at the PIE and TPE.

8. We asked for receipt then, but he refused to give initially, and claimed he cannot understand and also he could not hear. Took his time to print a receipt unwillingly. I asked him 2 times for it.

I had no choice and told him we are making a report for his dangerous driving as well as his rudeness and that he disgraced Singapore Taxi drivers and damaging the image of Singapore and he challenged us to make not only to Taxi company , but also to MOT Minister and STB.

In all, we spoke to him in English. As we alighted, he refused to drive off and wanted to see which block are going to.

My HK friend, was extremely disturbed, terrified shocked at such attitudes by this taxi Drive. After such a tiring trip, certainly , we deserve a homecoming and welcoming stance to Singapore.

Dear Minister Lui, and all, kindly look and take the necessary action against this taxi driver, as all the issues above were terrifying and have done alot of damage to Singapore, in the view of HK visitor and us, a horrifying experience.

Singapore Ministries have done very much to bring in visitorship of business visitors and tourists , and hereby marred and make such embrassments to foreigners by this Taxi Driver.

We are not at all surprised at this driver's behaviour. In fact, many of them go to Changi Airport expecting to pick up passengers who will be heading to Jurong  or town area - as if there are no residents in the Eastern are who will go overseas! The driver here dares you to report him precisely because many of us 'just let it go' time and time again. In all probability, this driver has got away with such behaviour so many times that he is now so bold as to challenge you to go ahead and 'report to the minister'. Therein lies the problem - if we allow an instance of bad behaviour to pass as 'once off', the accumulation of such 'free passes' will lead to the belief that drivers can get away with dishing out rubbish service. If you have not yet done so, the appropriate platform to highlight this incident would be to lodge a complaint with LTA using their easy-to-fill online feedback form.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Crazy Abusive Driver 3545 Tampines

Ms L informs the following on 24/07/2012:

On 23July moring, i called comfort hotline to book a cab. a cab of car plate no: 3545 came to pick me up at about 9.40am at Blk 338 Tampines St 33. Destination: Toa Payoh Hdb Hub taxi stand/drop off point. cab driver was a chinese guy either in his 30s-50s. middle-aged guy.

thru the journey, i felt a little uncomfortable as i felt that d driver was looking at me thru d mirror. nevertheless, i just look out of d window to ignore.

during d journey, i received a call from 1 of my colleagues, saying that he has reached d destination for our appt. well d taxi driver could have overheard d conversation, and probably he was aware that i was in a hurry, such that he drove really fast, going for d fastest lane 1, occasionally switching to lane 2.

the horror happened when the cab reached TPY Hdb hub at about 10.07am, i looked at the taxi fare metre, it was $12.xx (with additional surcharge of $2.30, as d cab booking fee, displayed on d smaller fare metre just beside d main fare metre).

As i was in a hurry, i took out either $13 (one $10 note, one $2note, and one $1 gold coin) or $15 (one $10 note, two $2note, and one $1 gold coin). I wasnt very sure as i was in a hurry.

as i am running late for my appt, (I felt even more urgent to rush for my appt as there were 8 adults all waiting for me to arrive, (Ive proof to show that i really have an appt at 10am), all of the 8 people reached early at 9am+), so i told the driver that i left d $$ "there" (on d usual place to contain d cab fare) and i left d cab running to attend my appt.

to my surprise, the cab driver ran after me, but he stopped running and stood there, shouting at d top of his voice: "Hey how can u run off like this?! You have not paid your cab fare!!"

Cab driver went on yelling to repeat the same sentence a few times! i was so shocked! As i turned and ran towards this driver, though it was obvious that i did not attempt to ran further away from him, but the fact was that i was running towards him, he still continued screaming the same sentence in a seemingly insane/uncontrollable manner. but i was running towards him to find out what has happened! but how come he was still shouting away? (was it a bid to shame me publicly since he could not stop yelling?)

As I arrived right in front of him, I saw that he had my earlier given cab fare in his hands. He told me that it is $15! I took out a $10 note from my wallet, i took the $3 from him, and gave him the additional $10 note. so in total, i paid him $20 (two $10 note) for a $15 cab fare! i told him to keep the change. but he still yelled at me, saying how can i run away just like that?

I have an acquintance who happened to hear the yelling, he laughed at me and sarcastically asked me why am i running like that...

it is a shaming and demoralising situation. As a passenger who given paid extra $5 to the driver, he still yelled at me!

in d first place, even if i really made a mistake to give him $13 for a $15 worth of cab fare (a shortfall mere of S$2), is there a need to run after me and yell at me at the top of his voice shouting : "how can you ran away?! you have not paid the cab fare!!"

Throughout the whole situation, despite his offensive screaming, i remained quiet - i.e. i did not shout back at him, as i was pretty taken aback!

i would rather that he ran and stop in front of me, to settle things amicably and in a normal acceptable speaking tone, than a threatening/shaming/embarrassing loud voice. it was so loud that i doubt level 3 also can hear it!

The shouting took place within the air conditioned premises of toa payoh hdb hub level 1, the portion where there are alot of floor plan flat models/type of floor tiles. It was a peak hour where there are many ppl - i.e. 30ppl at least?

Is this the way consumers deserve? I am sure that if the context is in a restaurant, as in if this driver were a waiter, and if his manager witnessed the screaming, this employee would have been fired on the spot!

No consumer deserved such yelling treatment! Moreover it was not a deliberate action on my part. I ve not done anything to provoke it to react in such an irrational manner. moreover i m a young lady in my late 20s and is this the way a guy should behave?

This incident has greatly affected me for the past few days. I m feeling fearful, angry, deeply embarrassed/feeling shameful by the incident, and i broke down in tears at certain point of d day.. I dont own a car, heavily relying on taxi to bring me around, i really feel v uncomfortable now even though i m a paying consumer. 

You shouldn't have to feel upset at all. It is obvious that this moron driver feels so despicable about himself that he needs to be an idiot in order to feel good about his pathetic life. Instead, you should take back the power into your hands and lodge a feedback to LTA through their online feedback form to put on record this ruffian's behaviour. As you mentioned, the 'manager'  ought to be informed and in the case of these drivers, it is LTA (NOT the cab company). It is when each of us plays our part that the cummulative effect can be felt - by lodging the complaint, you can ensure that no other person suffers at the hands of this driver like you did.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Unprofessional Ruffian Driver SH2364U Marsiling

Rodente informs the following on 14/07/2012:

I just want to share my experience regarding this very rude taxi driver which I hired last July 13, 2012. The taxi plate number is SH 2364 U.

I was on my way to Marsiling Community Club to play badminton. And since I am running out of time, I took the cab instead of the usual bus I take. When I entered this uncle's taxi, i knew already that he was not in the good mood by the tone of his voice. But I just ignored him because I am on my happy mood since I will be seeing my friends to play badminton.

He asked me where to go. And I told him Marsiling CC, and he replied me with a very harsh tone, "Aiyoh, give me the address!" Then I said, "100 Admiralty Road." Then he replied, "I don't know! Show me! Show me!" On that point I almost scolded him for not knowing the address but I still kept cool and told him that it is right beside the mosque because I knew that he will know the place since I noticed that he is a Malay Muslim. Then he replied with a disgusted tone with a broken English grammar, "So near only! Why need take cab? Few blocks only can walk!" Well, that is not his concern as long as I pay.

So he drove me to the CC and I saw that I need to pay $7.60. Then I pulled my $50 bill and pay him and that is the time he went berserk!

He started shouting inside his taxi and yelling like this, "Are you crazy?!!! Only $7.60? You pay me 50?! Crazy!!! I just went out! No money yet! You don't think huh?!". Then that is the time I lost it... I told him that "It is already 7 pm and if you do not have change to my $50 you go out and have it changed! You know that you will be driving your taxi and you do not have change for a small note?". Then he replied with all his insults that he can think of. He noticed that I am a foreigner and started yelling, "You think you are a big shot huh? You think you are better than me? I am a Singaporean and you are 'just' a worker here! Go back to your poor country!"

I almost shoot him back with all the insults that for sure he will go more crazy but I knew better not to stoop down to his very low level. I am a well-educated professional and there is no way I can talk reason to people with brains that function only when they are angry.

Then luckily one of my badminton friends walk past us and asked what is going on. And I asked him for a smaller bill. By then, the driver was still shouting every insult his small pitifull brain can think of. I just shut the taxi's door and walked away...

Well, I still played a very good game after that. Luckily, he never ruined my game. But he certainly ruined my day.

It is not surprising that these lazy drivers go into a fit of hysteria when they have to make short trips. They fail to realise that commuters peruse taxis for various reasons and their job is not to determine who should or should not take taxis but is to simply drive the passenger as instructed. If it is so difficult, then this ruffian should not have chosen to become a driver. As ever, we urge you to lodge a complaint with LTA through their online feedback form immediately so that it can be filed and reports can be accumulated against this driver. The licence plate looks very familiar and I believe someone has already complained about this driver to us before.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Psycho Driver SHD9202J Haji Lane

Ms V informs the following on 10/06/2012:

I think what you're doing is great. It was helpful to know that it is useless to complain to the cab company directly. It also helped me reel in from the shock from my experience knowing that there are others who have been through these situations before.

I take cabs regularly for the past 10+ years and have met my fair share of excellent and shitty drivers. Today I met the worst, a psycho "Ah Beng" driver who prompted me to take action for the first time.

Here is a copy of my complaint.

Subject Violent Outburst from Taxi Driver
Message At approximately 3pm today, My boyfriend and I was picked up by (what we believe was Trans Cab) SHD9202J at Haji Lane, destined for --------. Other than noticing he was driving more aggresively than most, the trip was quite uneventful until we reached the vicinity of Newton Circus where he chose a different route than usual.

Commenting on this unfamilliar route, I calmly mentioned that I thought this was a longer route compared to what I was familliar with. While I was expecting a simple and cordial reply, we were met with a barrage of verbal abuses and accusations. Among these he shouted that I was accusing him of purposely taking a longer route with the intention of lodging a complaint against him. He taunted me several times to lodge a complaint. While shocked, I tried to calm him down and explain that was not my intent. I said I was just stating my opinion, that he actions are uncalled for. I am perfectly certain that I did not speak to him in a way that would result in this sort of manic behavior in a normal person.

What was a trivial misunderstanding turned into a violent and unpleasant trip as he started to drive more haphazardly, going faster and breaking harder. His voice grew louder and more menacing. He taunted my boyfriend to make me shut up and while he quietly observed the situation all this time, that broke his silence. My boyfriend retorted that he should calm down and shut up. At this point, he hit the brake hard and his hands were hitting the steering wheel as he shouted at us to get out. After doing so, he put his vehicle on N and revved it hard for some time as we walked away. All this took place in less than 3 minutes.

The video of the Ferrari car crash showed that some cabs are equipped with video and voice recording device. If this cab has that capacity, it is evidence for my claim. I was left in tears from fear and thankfulness, that my boyfriend was there to stand up for me as I would have otherwise been rendered helpless to this violent man. This man is a bully
with no self control. His taunts seems to show that he has no fear of complaints which is the reason why I decided to speak directly to the LTA. I understand this is his lifelihood and do not wish him to suffer. However, I trust you will take fair and meaningful action to protect other customers from this man's violent inclinations.

Indeed, it is precisely for this purpose - that our collective experiences can serve to inform and direct our concerted efforts against these ruthless rogues on our roads - that this blog exists. Together, we can force these idiots into behaving or off our roads once and for all. By giving the benefit of the doubt we are merely handing over the power to them to treat us like subservient beings.

Fraud Driver SHB1278D Nicoll Highway

Mr Justin K informs the following on 04/06/2012:

I hope this post will help alert all road users to be careful of these immoral, unethical and irresponsible drivers and always stay safely away from taxis or other vehicles. Also, if possible, install cameras in your cars.

On 1 June 2012, around 8.45pm, I met with an accident on Nicoll Highway involving an SMRT taxi, and a Nissan Latio, though only my car was damaged. I was driving smoothly behind this taxi at a constant speed, not tailgating nor attempting to overtake, when the taxi suddenly e-braked in the middle of the highway. Although I saw the brake light on, I did not expect it to be an e-brake and thus slowed down my car only slightly. About a second later after realising the taxi came to a complete halt, it was probably too late for me to jam my e-brake. I reckon that if I e-braked, I may crash my head as I swing forward since I was travelling fast on a highway. Also, it could be dangerous as cars behind may crash straight into my car. I have never attempted e-brake on a highway at highspeed and thus did not know how long the stopping distance would be.

Thus, I checked my right mirror and blindspot and swerved to the right upon clearance to avoid crashing into the taxi. I managed to avoid a crash into other vehicles but unfortunately, the speed was pretty fast and I was unable to steer the car back straight in time and therefore hit the kerb, mounted it and my car began staggering. After coming to consciousness in a second, I put the brakes and parked ahead of the Nissan Latio, which was in front of the SMRT taxi.

Both cars stopped in the middle of the highway when my accident happened, the Nissan ahead of the taxi. I got out of my car as I thought I hit the taxi. But both the other cars were unhurt. The taxi screamed at the Nissan driver and pinned the blame on him for causing the accident. He said that his taxi was equipped with video recording and he had all the evidence that the Nissan driver was the cause of the crash. The taxi driver asked me to claim from the Nissan for my car damage and that he would provide me with the recordings as well as be a witness if need be. I took down the number plates of both vehicles and their contact numbers but the Nissan driver appeared reluctant and unwilling to claim responsibility.

According to the taxi driver, he blamed the Nissan driver for cutting into his lane without signalling and jammed the brakes. He said that he blasted high beam at the Nissan and thus the Nissan driver jammed his brakes, causing the taxi to also e-brake. Their squabble has resulted in my accident.

I called up the Nissan driver the following day after sending my car for assessment. He refused to claim responsibility and to engage in a discussion, bringing in 3rd parties to talk to me. It was a tough case for me to win too because his car had no damage and I hear that in most instances, cars in front never had to pay for any damage even though they intentionally caused the accident. I urge more drivers to be aware of this Singapore "Law".

Thus, I decided to approach the taxi driver who had offered to provide me with the evidence he had. Previously, he sounded nice over the phone and told me to settle out of court first with the Nissan driver and only if he refused to bear responsibility should I then bring the matter up to the police. However, after I told the taxi driver that the Nissan driver refused to bear the costs of repair, he said he will send me the video evidence that night.

I waited for a day in vain. The taxi hasn't send me anything. I called him up and he asked me why the driver didn't bear the responsibility. I gave him an account of my conversation with the Nissan driver and told him about the brainless law. He said he will send me the video that night again. I waited again but still received nothing. I texted him the next day but received no reply at all. I believe he is going into hiding.

Right now, I realised that the taxi driver wasn't even as helpful as he claimed to be. It got me thinking whether his account of the incident was truthful. I wonder if he could probably be the cause of the squabble instead of the Nissan driver. Also, I wonder if the taxi had conspired with the Nissan driver, hoping that I crash into him. I have no idea what exactly happened between the two of them.

Lessons learnt from this case for me that I would like to share with everyone. Do not believe the accounts of drivers that caused your accident - all of them are selfish and want to avoid liability. I wish that Singaporeans have more morality and sense of responsibility. Take photographs of the accident, of the drivers and car plates.

I believe that the perpetrators should be responsible for the costs of repair. But I'm unsure of how to have a case against them. I guess for such a unusual case as mine, maybe we should stay at our accident location and wait for traffic police to arrive to settle the matter. Clearing up the location will only wipe out all evidences against these rogue drivers.
We are not surprised by such behaviour from these drivers. Never trust a taxi driver under any circumstances no matter how helpful or friendly they might be. Documentary evidence is still the best assurance so we must make sure we can prove our case and not rely on other parties - especially such drivers. Hopefully, your story will help others to be more cautious if they find themselves in a similar situation.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Idiot Driver SHB9637Z Commonwealth Drive

Ms Charlotte informs the following on 28/05/2012:
I happened to chance upon your blog and I hope you can share my story.

Today, around 2.39PM, i was turning out of Commonwealth Drive into Queensway Underpass. The extreme left lane which I was turning into was empty and there were no on-coming vehicles. This trans cab SHB9637Z was in the middle lane when it suddenly swerved right in front of me. Luckily for both of us, I was turning at a slow speed and hence, managed to brake in time.

I was so shocked by its sudden reckless act that I did not even manage to horn at him. Next, I watched him drive dangerously close to the car in front of it. I'm really disgusted by this driver and his irresponsibility. As I'm currently pregnant, if we had a car accident, can he answer to my family or the dad of my unborn child?
There were no cars behind me so he could have slowed down and changed lanes after I had past. Why did he have to swerve in so dangerously? The left filter lane ahead was at least a good distance so there is no excuse about missing it at all.

Really appreciate if you can share this. I will be blogging about it too and sharing your blog as well as this story on my blog.
As usual, these drivers are forever in a rush to die and take all the other motorists with them. This is not at all unusual - where the driver inexplicable resorts to some seriously dangerous driving, only to reach the next traffic light. I think over the years such drivers have lost their motoring sense altogether and are just aimless idiots behind steering wheels. I am sick and tired of having to be the one vigilant instead of these drivers taking care on the roads. The best approach is therefore to use the authority to bend these crooked drivers back to shape, which can only be done by lodging a complaint whenever and wherever we encounter them. I thus strongly urge you to lodge a complaint with LTA through their online feedback form immediately.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Insane Harrassment 3064 Bayshore Park

Mr LC informs the following on 12/03/2012:

First of all, I would like to congratulate you for the great initiative on your site against the rudeness of the taxi drivers in Singapore nowadays.

My job requires many, many taxi journeys around Singapore in different locations. I had plenty of incidents and I witnessed countless times of indecent and rude behavior from many taxi drivers, but nothing compares with the incident I had last Thursday (8 of March 2012) @10:25 am in Bayshore Park - East Coast.

I booked a cab and I got one shortly. I went in front of the building, saw the cab and, as I wouldn't want to take other people's taxi- I decided to politely ask the driver if he was booked with my name. The following dialog took place:

Me: " Good morning sir. Can you please tell me if this taxi is booked?"
Taxi driver: " Who do you think you are to ask me that question?!" - in a very loud and rude way.
Me: " I am sorry sir, I just want to know if this taxi is booked on my name since I just booked a taxi a couple of minutes ago and I received the confirmation that it arrived".
Taxi driver: " Who do you think you are to ask me if I am booked or not?! This taxi is not for you!"

I checked the number of the taxi and I apologized (shocked by the man's behavior).

In the meantime, my taxi arrived and before taking it, (again politely) I decided to ask the angry taxi driver if I upset him with something and tell him that his behaviour is not appropriate.

Instantly he got out of his car and in front of other shocked people passing by, he started to yell that he is going to sue me (over and over again) if I will complain about this incident. I got in my taxi, but he was coming toward my car repeating "I am going to sue you! See you in court!" and (!!!) showing me obscene gestures with his hands and body repeatedly.

I nicely took his car number, 3064, but I don't have the full number - as I was in shock and frankly quite afraid by his inappropiate behavior. I remember it was a half black \ half yellow cab. It might have been a private driver - @50 years old.

Being a kind man and tending to forgive, I firstly wanted to just let it go and not let it affect my day, but the driver of the taxi I got in, also shocked, told me that this was absolutely not right and I should call LTA immediately. I did call LTA and submitted a complaint against the taxi driver. I also took the particulars of MY taxi driver (name and car number) just in case I'll need a witness.

This is not my first incident but it IS the first one I'm complaining about, as I can't tolerate this kind of behavior anymore. There are plenty of people out there willing to get a job in these taxi companies.

This has to be looked into and I am very determined now to pursue this case and follow it closely until appropriate action is taken.

I am tired of closing an eye on the fact that many of the taxi drivers in Singapore are rude, nosy, drive much too fast (sometimes the speed reaches 140 km/h! while barely able to keep their eyes open, as they are very tired after a long shift). This incident was the last drop in the bucket for me. The situation is way out of control. There must be some rules that apply to them and an authority that supervises what they do.

Please advice me on what I can do. This kind of people must be stopped from behaving like in a jungle. Common sense tells me we need to be civil to one another, regardless of race, age or social status.

This is precisely what happens to all of us. We keep quiet and tolerate these drivers time and time again because [they are old/it's a difficult life for them/we have no time to pursue the matter] - and the only thing this serves to achieve is to encourage worse behaviour from them. And only when the behaviour is outrageous or when our life is in danger do we think about pursuing the matter. Unfortunately, it is too late by then and the hooligan you've had the misfortune of dealing with in this case is probably beyond redemption. This ruffian needs to be removed from the roads now for the safety of the people but he may have been saved if a few of us had lodged a complaint at the point when he was just an obnoxious and rude driver. Thank you for appreciating this little blog and I hope the many others who drop by here take the effort to lodge a complaint with LTA through their online feedback form whenever they come across rude drivers. As a rule of thumb, I lodge a complaint when the behaviour is something that I would not tolerate from my teenage daughter or from my colleagues. We shouldn't complain for petty things but we also shouldn't tolerate callousness.

Driver Dares Passenger To Complain SHD2154K Bencoolen

SM informs the following on 12/03/2012:

Last night; 11 March 2012 Sunday at around 9.15pm, outside IBIS Hotel Bencoolen lobby, I was there to fetch my Hong Kong friend to my place at Sengkang with 2 kids (10 and 11) and elderly lady (and myself.). A total of 3 adults and 2 kids.

The hotel's concierge service staff was at the lobby organizing the taxi and queue.

At that juncture, there were no crowd (only us) and only that taxi (SHD 2154 K) parking at the pouch. The hotel staff signal the taxi and he drove out of the pouch to the pick up point and seeing us having 5 persons, he told us that he could not took us. I understand the regulation and said it is fine.

The concierge staff suggested us to book a 7-seater taxi for SGD 50 per trip and I told him that was expensive. He then suggested that we booked 2 taxi and it was a great ideas and I asked him to go ahead to arrange. He signal the first taxi ((SHD 2154 K) to come by and told him that we have intended to go by two taxis instead of one. To my horrific surprise, he told the concierge staff that he doesn't want to take us and signal to the Caucasian lady (by now, she is behind us) to come forward to him. As both him and Caucasian lady were discussing on the route to go, I walked toward the taxi and lean forward to the passenger window and asked him “Are you choosing your passenger now?".

He replied me "What do I means" and I told him who was on the line first (me or the Caucasian lady) and asked him again is he choosing who he wanted to take?

By now, the Caucasian lady hearing our conversation has walked back to the queue. I told the taxi driver I am going to feedback to his company.

I was shocked to hear what he was going to say to me next...

He told me adamantly to go ahead to complaint and said thank you to me for complaining him.

He was challenging me to complaint on him!!!

And there after he drove off.

The arrogance and ugliness behavior of this taxi driver leave a bad impression of my visiting friend from Hong Kong and even as Singaporeans, I am freak out by this kind of customer service and attitude.

I am not a trouble maker and I certainly has no time to write complaining letter but because of his unbecoming attitude of being a service provider as taxi driver and insistence to ask me to complaint, I am determined to expose him to the authority.

This is the result of too many of us giving the benefit to these drivers and practicing a 'let it go' mindset when we encounter such ruffians. When a driver behaves rudely and sees that there is no repercussion, he will simply be emboldened to be even more rude the next time. It is just a matter of time before the driver becomes a thug or hooligan in car and by then it is too late to correct the attitude. This is the problem that we are facing right now and it was my intention to help change this forgiving mindset of taxi commuters. We must tackle bad behaviour when it rears its ugly head and not after it has become rooted as a habit.