Monday, December 03, 2007

Spiraling Misery

Taxi drivers are asking for an increase in taxi fares. This is nothing new, except that this time around, more commuters may be sympathetic to that request. In the past, whenever public transport providers asked for an increase in fares, they didn't really have a good reason except to say that they are entitled to a raise just like everybody else. Yeah, and I suppose that beggars are entitled to a raise too, in line with that ridiculous line of reasoning. They, or their supporters, who are MPs and government officials, seriously damaged the public transport providers' cause by appearing to be greedy. That is why, in my books, any call for fare increases have mostly been suspect.

But ok, this time around, it is clear to everyone except that those that do not leave their houses, that the cost of petrol has indeed increased significantly that the commuting public should bear part of the increase. The only problem is when the price of petrol comes down, as it must someday, will the fares decrease in tandem? I would be extremely naive to state that it will. Let me be blunt - it won't decrease because these operators will come up with a thousand and one ridiculous reasons to explain why fares cannot come down in spite of lower prices of petrol. They will start by saying that adjusting the metres on their cabs will be extremely costly, as if it doesn't cost as much to tune them upwards to charge higher fares.

So with this in mind, I'd say that any fare increase in response to increases in direct costs is fair. But don't tell me that the taxi fares in Singapore are relatively low compared to Hong Kong, London and Tokyo. Anyone who does that deserves to be sent to these cities to live on their present salary, including certain government officials who are fond of these types of comparisons and 'logic'.

There can be no sense of 'victory' this time around. Everyone will end up paying more as the multiplier effect of costs increases kick in. So friends, Singaporeans, countrymen, lets ride this inflationary wave together and let not one of us push the wave higher by ballooning the increases through our selfish wants - like those people who rent out apartments and rooms.


mr.udders said...

So what's your point?

I don't get it.

Epilogos said...

1. Raising taxi fares is reasonable, given the increased price of petrol.
2. Keeping raised fares is unreasonable because price of petrol will fall.
3. Increased fares means increased everything.

These about sums it up. Gee, I never imagined that I'd have to explain myself. Got to look at my language expression ability (or inability, as the case is).