25 Jan '12, 1am

ST Forum: Commuters shouldn't forget the benefits that come with higher cab fares, says one of our readers.

MR KENDRIK Hong questioned whether 'increasing fares is an acceptable method to decrease demand' ('Implications of equating fare hikes with better service'; last Thursday). He added that this approach 'punishes commuters... and masks the inefficiencies of the operators'. This is not true. A punishment is something you cannot avoid. But commuters remain free to choose whether to take a taxi or not. Furthermore, price hikes reflect inefficiencies only when there are no genuine cost increases and only few competitors. The other taxi operators would not have had any incentive to follow ComfortDelGro's fare revisions if they did not face cost pressures to do so. In fact, increasing prices is both normal and common. Consider how the prices of fish, pork or durians increase when demand is high and supply is low. Increasing prices is often a necessary and orderly means to ensure t...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/Story/STIStory_758972...

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