ComfortDelGro Raising Taxi Fares from 13 Dec While Prime Taxi Reportedly Will Also Raise Fares

Singapore’s Largest Taxi Operator ComfortDelGro Announces Fare Hike: What You Need to Know and How Competitors Are Responding

Well fellas, it looks like we need to prepare our wallets again.

Singapore’s biggest taxi operator ComfortDelGro has announced an increase in flag-down price by 50 cents and distance / time-based charges by one cent.

Both of these changes will take effect on 13 December 2023. 

ComfortDelGro said in a statement on 6 December that the increase in prices is to help taxi drivers offset rising operational expenses due to increased fuel costs, inflation, and the forthcoming goods and services tax rise from 8% to 9% starting January 1.

In October, ComfortDelGro managed a fleet of 8,841 Comfort and CityCab taxis, capturing about 64% of the market.

(If you’re wondering if you should patronize a competing taxi operator instead, Prime Taxi also announced plans to implement fare increases… So, there’s that.) 

Changes in Flag-down Fare Charges

Here is a comprehensive breakdown of the changes in initial fare across the different types of taxis within ComfortDelGro.

Image: Facebook (ComfortDelGro Taxi)
Image: Facebook (ComfortDelGro Taxi)
  • Hyundai i40
      • Original price: S$3.90
      • After price increase: S$4.40
  • Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
      • Original price: S$4.10
      • After price increase: S$4.60
  • Hyundai Ioniq, Hyundai Kona, Toyota Sienta Hybrid, BYD e6
    • Original price: S$4.30
    • After price increase: S$4.80

However, limousine taxis such as the MaxiCab and Mercedes-Benz taxis, will maintain their starting fares at S$4.80 after their increase from S$4.10 in November.

Changes in Distance Travelled and Wait Time Charges

Charges for distance travelled and wait times will increase across all types of taxis.

  • Regular taxis (for every 400m under 10km, and every 350m after 10km)
    • Original price: 25 cents (24 cents + one-cent temporary fare tariff)
    • After price increase: 26 cents
  • Limousine taxis (for every 400m under 10km, and every 350m after 10km)
    • Original price: 35 cents
    • After price increase: 36 cents

According to these adjustments, an average 10km trip from Serangoon NEX to Bugis Junction during off-peak hours will increase by 6.8%, going from S$13.80 to $14.74.

Extension of Peak Period Hours

On top of that, ComfortDelGro has also announced the extension of peak period hours from 6PM to 11:59PM daily to 5PM to 11:59 daily.

Another peak hour surcharge will be introduced from 10AM to 1:59PM on weekends and public holidays.

Image: Facebook (ComfortDelGro Taxi)

Chief executive of ComfortDelGro’s taxi business Mr Tommy Tan stressed that the fare adjustments were put in place to ensure that the drivers have fair earnings amidst rising operational costs. 

The changes in peak-hour surcharges also intend to meet the increasing demand for taxis during peak hours.

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in April 2020, ComfortDelGro has supported its drivers by providing rental waivers, continuing to offer a 10% waiver.

Rental costs for ComfortDelGro taxis vary, with a Toyota Sienta taxi costing $118 daily for up to six days and $98 per day for longer rental periods.

Rental for a Mercedes-Benz E-class taxi is $388 per day for up to six days and $368 daily for a more extended rental period.

Yeo Wan Ling, adviser to the National Taxi Association, highlighted that the impending 1% increase in the goods and services tax (GST) adds to the operational costs, impacting rental, food, parking, and other expenses.

Therefore, she concluded, the additional earnings from the fare increase would help drivers support their families.

(If we’re positive, it would also help curb drivers from resorting to unscrupulous behaviours such as touting and exploiting their customers during peak periods.)

However, some drivers expressed concerns that the fare increase might not sufficiently alleviate rising operational costs, describing that they can be easily wiped out by potential speeding or parking fines.

The drivers state that the company should be looking into adjusting car rental costs instead.

There are also worries that higher fares could drive customers toward ride-hailing services offering lower fares and occasional ride discounts , such as Gojek and Grab.

Reactions on Facebook are a mixed bag, with several expressing outrage at the price increase, while others express sympathy for the taxi drivers.

Competitors are Following Suit

In response to the fare adjustments by ComfortDelGro, other taxi operators are considering similar moves.

Following the largest operator’s price increase, other taxi operators are looking into doing the same.

Prime Taxi announced plans to adjust its fares, however the details remain undisclosed.

Trans-Cab plans to implement the same peak hour surcharge adjustments as ComfortDelGro, but has yet to announce any fare adjustment plans.

Strides Premier stated that they would monitor the situation closely before making any decisions regarding increasing their fares.

I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, that’s fine, I can just take public transport!”

That’s all fine and dandy until you remember that the public transport price hike is taking place on 23 December 2023, and that our fares are increasing by a whopping 7%.

Welp, time to walk to work, I guess.