We are not saying ST article is biased or the grievances by the ‘Taxi drivers’ are entirely accurate. Most times, it’s because the facts are not explained well and misconceptions are not addressed in a timely manner.

This is where readers need to be critical of the news they read, source widely and make the judgement for themselves so that they do not get their sentiments stoked for no reasons.

If the taxi unions or ComfortDelGro people are reading this, they should also think of better ways to engage these ‘misconceptions’ rather than sitting back and letting it take root.

The Story:

Straits Times reported that more than 1,000 cabbies from ComfortDelGro have opted for a new flexi-rental programme to help lighten the burden of paying their full rental fees daily.

The scheme, launched by the island’s biggest taxi firm in September last year, is aimed at fighting the trend of cabbies exiting the industry in the face of stiff competition from private-hire car services.

Under the “25CJ” initiative, they can pay a lower rental fee – reduced by as much as half – every day.

Sources said that more than 1,000 ComfortDelGro taxi hirers have signed up and quoted two of them endorsing the scheme and how it has benefited their overall savings.

The pushback:

Taxi Uncles on the Internet were fuming. Not only are they facing stiff competition from privately-hired cars such as Grab and Uber, now they have their own company trying to undercut them further.

Conclusion:

Two points:

1 – Public engagement sessions are important. ComfortDelGro should also publicise their numerous (if any) engagement sessions so that the public know that they did not pluck the number from thin air.

2 – Continue engagement and gather feedback through multiple platforms so that ComfortDelGro can tweak the programme and address the issues faced by taxi drivers better.

Bonus point:

3 – As readers, always be sceptical of the news and the comments made by anonymous netters.