Taxi ridership down 18%, but commuters' satisfaction up: PTC survey

Taxi ridership down 18%, but commuters' satisfaction up: PTC survey

ComfortDelGro's taxis are parked at their vehicle inspection yard in Singapore
File photo of ComfortDelGro's taxis parked at their vehicle inspection yard in Singapore. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Fewer people took taxis last year, although the percentage of commuters who were satisfied with taxi services rose, according to the results of a survey released by the Public Transport Council (PTC) on Friday (Feb 23).

The average daily taxi ridership fell from 954,000 in 2016 to 785,000 last year – a 17.7 per cent decline. Just 29.5 per cent of respondents said they took a taxi ride in the past seven days, compared to 50 per cent the year before. 

In contrast, the percentage of respondents who took a private-hire ride booked through ride-hailing apps like Grab and Uber jumped to 70.5 per cent from 50 per cent.

However, the proportion of commuters who were satisfied with taxi services rose from 94.4 per cent to 98.5 per cent last year. The mean satisfaction score also inched up from 7.5 to 7.9.

"This reflects the continuous efforts by the taxi industry to respond to changes," the PTC said.

The percentage of satisfied users for private-hire car services also rose to 98.7 per cent, up from 97.3 per cent in 2016. The mean satisfaction score also increased from 7.9 to 8.2. 

The survey, which was conducted from Aug 16 to Sep 2 last year, polled 1,500 people.

Respondents were surveyed on eight key attributes of taxi services: Waiting time, ease of booking, information, comfort of the ride, driver's knowledge of route, driver's service, safety and taxi stand accessibility. 

The survey questions for private-hire car services were also based on the same attributes except for taxi stand accessibility. 

According to the study, taxi passengers were most satisfied with the driver's knowledge of route, safety and service information. On the other hand, users of private-hire cars were most satisfied with ease of booking, safety and service information. 

Discounts given by ride-hailing apps were the most likely reason why respondents prefer taking private-hire cars instead of buses and the MRT, said PTC. 

Source: CNA/ad