I should be a taxi driver instead

Sometimes I wonder why did I bother to study so much.

While some cabbies have complained that passengers are not flagging taxis, Transport Minister Raymond Lim said their earnings have however gone up.

Based on figures provided by ComfortDelGro, Singapore’s biggest taxi operator, cabbies are pocketing about $11 more a day, earning about $318.

Let’s see.
Earning: $318
Rental: $100 (Round up. Actually should be $97)
Petrol: $80

$318 – $100 – $80 = $138

Daily take home pay is $138.

Let’s assume they work 25 days per month.

$138 * 25 = $3450

Then every month give them $450 for miscellaneous stuff like season parking and car wash, that’s $3000 take home pay! OK, now, why did I take a part time degree when Taxi drivers are paid almost the same? Should just study the street directory and apply for a taxi license.

Where can you find a job with flexi working hours, high pay and many great benefits?

I’m going to apply to be a Taxi hirer. Anyone wants to be my relief driver?


  1. Good analysis DK. Taxi drivers are being paid more with the hope that they would stop spreading malicious anti-gov gossip. 🙂

    If graduates bad-mouthed the gov more, maybe their salaries could go up? 🙂

  2. on paper, the numbers always look good, but in reality it always suck!

    didn’t you have enuff example from the corporate world?

  3. I’ve posted a similar comment at Simply Jean’s blog. But I’ve made a few adjustments to use according to your figure.

    If they work like office staff, 5 days a week only (assuming a total of 23, not 25 lah), their earnings will be about $3174.

    If your current job pays more than $3174 by working 5-days per week, you are better off doing what you are doing now. Taxi drivers do not have public holidays, sick leave, annual leave and CPF (they pay their own). They also do not enjoy company paid insurance.

    Taxi drivers job is really not rosy nor cosy.

  4. You are not old enough dude, there is a minimum age to be a cabbie.

    Oh yah, i think your fixed cost is calculated wrongly. U pay 30 or 31 days of rental a mth, so if you work for like say 23 days, you still need to pay rental for the 8 days or 7 days that you are not using the vehicle.

    This varies from company to company some company give free days per mth and some don’t.

  5. i talked to a coursemate whose father is a taxi driver. He said his father only brings home 1000+ per month…


    did the taxi company selectively pick examples?

  6. Harro: If what you said is true, then govt also need to give bloggers more money too. 🙂

    furfur: Everything looks good on paper. 😀

    Cobalt Paladin: I’ll pick up an application form soon. You need one? 😀

  7. HJ: Yeap. I need to wait 2 more years then can apply. Soon liao lah. 😀

    It is a rough calculation. If you notice, I haven’t add relief driver. If add in, then you don’t need to pay the $100 rental all by yourself. 😀

    CC: You been talking to the wrong cabbie then.

  8. CC, I would have to agree with DK on this. You did not talk to the right driver. But, not to worry, our esteemed Mr Raymond Lim also did not talk to any taxi driver too. He obtained his figures from the ComfortDelGro company.

    Now, we have to think very hard here. Would ComfortDelGro presents anything “inconclusive” about the taxi fare hikes that they proposed?

  9. Personally I’d doubt the figures given by the company. You never know how they extract figures. I don’t trust majority of figures given by companies anyway unless they explain how they got it. I also have a friend whose father is a taxi driver. don’t think they earn so much.

  10. Spyer: In short, ComfortDelGro spoke to the right driver. Just that we didn’t get to see them.

    Jasmine: ComfortDelGro didn’t talk to your father for sure. 🙂

    tstar: How can you not trust the word from our transport minister?

    Aaron Peng: Like we said, you didn’t speak to the right cabbie. 🙂

  11. Come on, there is no prospect in that job. A degree can gets you further than $3K, even $10K is possible. Lets not just loo at the money and make a comparison in the most simplistic form ok? We are not that childish. In life, you have a choice, if you decide to do something, then dont bitch about other thing. I mean whats stopping you? If you think the money is good, then go for it. Just make sure you dont bitch about it when you’re not making $300 then.

  12. I had friends who work night shift, one brought up 4 childrens, I am not sure how much, maybe you should combine working in the morning with other works?

  13. In a super lucky good day, yes we could earn $318 A DAY, 2 shifts (day and night). But that means we don’t have to sleep at all and continue driving every day. Hence, the $318 per day is a very very bad example.

  14. I am a bit suspicious of the S$318 figure as I do take cabs quite often for work…

    I take the cab from my place in Bukit Gombak to the airport quite often and I typically pay S$25 for a 40 min cab ride…

    So for a cabbie to earn S$318, he would have to drive non-stop for 8.5 hours making nearly 13 trips between the airport and Gombak…

    Not easy man…

  15. sl: Are you a taxi driver? So how much do you usually earn? How much was spend on petrol etc etc?

    xtrocious: Don’t break down the figure. The more you break it down, the more impossible it seems. Hahahaha….

  16. boy, i got so many uncles taxi driver never see they earn so much.

    A normal job got job prospect. Taxi driver 10 years also still taxi driver. Get that right.

  17. Now, they tell you that it was a mistake. And Mr Lim probably knew about it and he somehow forgot to go into the details.

    How much do cabbies really earn? (TodayOnline – 25 Jan 2008)

    “And it was, but as ComfortDelGro has since clarified, $318 accounts for a taxi’s takings over two shifts.

    With most taxis shared between two drivers, to defray costs and working hours, the average daily takings for each cabbie — before deducting rent and petrol costs — would work out to $159. Minus expenses, this would mean the average driver pockets about $85 a day.

    Now, how the hell does this happened? If the internet never buzzes about this $318 figure, it will be buried and let people believed that it is true. So much for a clean and honest government.

  18. I had numerous friends who are taxi drivers it seem that driving taxi is not that great, if I am not wrong their earning is around $60 net of expense?

  19. tstar: My evil twin would rather be a transport minister who go around tell people that cabbies earn average $318 per day without using brain.

  20. Spyer: Why am I not surprised?

    Henry: You speaking to the wrong cabbies. You should speak to the cabbies that ComfortDelGro spoke to.

  21. Quote: There were also those who made less money because they spent their time “sitting in coffeeshops”, said Mr Lim. “This is a time where you can separate the good drivers from the rest.” (http://www.todayonline.com/articles/234159print.asp)

    Do you expect us to work for 12 hours flat without break? How much time you spend for your lunch break and coffee break in your office? So when your boss see you sitting in a coffee shop or chatting in your office pantry, do you think it is fair to you when your boss judges you using the same yardstick? Do you know that 12 hour drive is equivalent to driving all the way to Ipoh, Malaysia and back! We are not aliens. We need to eat, rest, sleep, pee and defecate.

  22. I do not know what Premier Taxis’ managing director Lim Chong Boo is talking about when he said that taxi drivers were “sitting in coffeeshops“.

    My workplace is very near a 24 hour Indian makan joint. I, sometimes, take my meals there. I do see taxi drivers stopping at the road sides and have their meals there. I have observed that most of them did not take an one hour plus meal break. Some of them just sit down, order, eat, drink and go. Some did not even eat, they just have a quick drink. Most of the time, they always eat alone. No colleague, no family, no talking. Just by themselves.

    Although this is anecdotal, I hope that Mr Lim have driven a taxi before. If not, he should think before he talked, just like what Mr Raymond Lim should do. (Why these fellows are LIMs?)

  23. Xtrocious: And some people’s job is to present obviously flawed figures for you. 😛

    SL: Maybe he expects cabbies to be on the road for the full 12hr.

  24. Henry: Don’t say 12 hr shift. 10 hr also very tiring. This is not a office job leh. Driving on the road is very tiring, especially during peak hr.

    Spyer: Maybe he also quite disconnected.

  25. I think the $318 might be his calculation for the per day booking for the taxi driver cum tour guide?

    Not a bad idea to train more taxi drivers to be a tour guides as they are very well verse with all the places, especially were to get the best book?

    So taxi drivers might be able to get this income per day?

    As the shortage of tour guide likely to rise, to a person who can bring the tourist every and maybe answering some of their questions are the taxi driver.

    It might solve the future shortage if 17 millions tourists to arrive in Singapore.

    Taxi drivers can bring them to places that normally tour guide might bring them?

  26. Hi DK, have you got your taxi license yet?
    I also applying for taxi license.
    Sick of my IT job after 10+ yrs in the industry..

  27. I have spoken to many friends of mine who are now driving taxi after being retrenched by companies, most in the mid 40s and most no job to fall back on and have no choice but to be a Taxi driver. I understand their earnings are an average of $1500 per month and they are not as carefree as others thought. Time is very precious to them, if their Taxi is not on hire, they are losing money, so, if you have a stable job, stick to that. Taxi driver will never dare to dream of year end bonus, increment, promotion and leaves. They cannot even afford not to feel well…how pitiful…

  28. I am a taxi driver for less than two year. It is true if a driver wish to earn that much provide he or she is willing to get up their life. that is why sometime time hearing taxi take a rest and never wakeup again. or kiney problem also the danger alway with you while on the road. Our minister know nothing about the life of taxi driver so do the taxi company. My advise to all. driving taxi is a last option and can only be part time, don’t forget no medical leave, annual leave, pay rent even you are not driving and also have to pay for demage repair cost to taxi when accident. taxi company like comfort charge $1500 min for all kind of demage even if the repair is less than $500.

  29. If what you are saying is true $9000 per mth than I will advise you to take more care of yourself because I do not believe you are earn that much . Even it is true than you are driving your way to grave. One more thing, do not forget to minus of the Income Tax, Season Parking and CPF deduction.
    If a taxi driver can make that much why are there still so much jobless. Such an income are much better than a manager post. and also forget about sending our children university.

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