According to the state-controlled Chinese newspaper Xinming Ri Pao, the monthly taxi rental for local drivers will increase by between 30% to 62.5%. Currently, rental for older taxi models are minimal $69 per day [Source], this will poise to be increased by at least 30% to $92 per day. Newer taxi models have a current rental of at least $130 per day and it will be increased up to at least $190 per day.
The jump in daily rental will require the taxi drivers to drive an extra hour daily to cover the increased rental cost. Taxi drivers typically drive 10 hour shifts and they may have to drive up to 12 hours just to cover the rental hike in order to draw the same salary. Although the official NTUC-endorsed taxi trade union, the National Taxi Association, did not respond to the rental hike, its adviser Ang Hin Kee, PAP MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, “acknowledged” the rental increase and claimed to have met up several taxi drivers in Yishun, who have relayed their concerns for the steep rental hike. However, the PAP MP did not mention if he is going to do anything about the rapid rental increase for the taxi drivers.
ComfortDelgro, SMRT and other taxi companies did not explain why is there such a huge hike in taxi rental. Every year, taxi companies post millions of profit from their taxi operations. ComfortDelgro alone, makes about $100 million profit from taxi rentals every year [Source] and even boasted that they will see an 8% revenue increase in 2013.
There is no justification for the rental hike, but unfortunately, there is no channels for taxi drivers to redress their grievances. Despite being self-employed with no benefits and welfare, taxi drivers are subjected to employment contract requirements like meeting a 250km quota.