Top Taxi Serviсe in Moscow from US$7 / Euro 6 from Angel Taxi
Angels From The Realms of Glory
NEW! - Angel's hotel in subtropics (Sukhum, Abkhazia) opened in 2013
See new tours in Moscow we offer
Angel Taxi in Moscow is a leading taxi dispatching service with fixed prices with over 1500 drivers in Moscow and Moscow region and over 300 drivers in St. Petersburg. Angel Taxi in Moscow caters to private and corporate clients and marked its 6th anniversary in 2013.
Taxi in Moscow differs from taxi in St. Petersburg as the overwhelming majority of companies operating taxi in Moscow charge per hour rather than by mileage, which might make your trip by taxi in Moscow a pricy one in notorious traffic jams. Angel Taxi in Moscow does not charge by time, we charge by kilometer. It means our fixed taxi in Moscow will not change due to traffic jams. You pay what you have heard when you call us unless you change the route or the driver awaits for you more than 10 gratis minutes.
Angel Taxi is a leader in charge-per-km sector in Moscow taxi business. The name comes from the founder's experience in heading Noginsk-based Bogorodsk Cathedral's pilgrimage service (Άγγελος = Messenger in Greek). The name works wonders. Clients are quite enthusiastic about Angel Taxi.
Angel Taxi was honored to have been selected for European Business Angel Network Congress in 2012.
We accept Visa and MasterCard as payment for taxi but only if you let us know of your intention to pay for taxi by Visa and MasterCard in advance. If you want to pay for taxi with Visa or MasterCard, please book taxi in Moscow in advance.
See how Visa and MasterCard payment for taxi goes in the video.
After the sunctions have been implemented some banks might experience difficulties in processing Visa and MasterCard in Russia. That's why cash payment is more preferred.
In this video Moscow-based Russian-language Village daily asked UK-based Wallpaper magazine staff to pronounce transliteration of some metro station names and common words. Well, it is not only about how difficult it is to pronounce some of the names for a foreigner. It is more about how difficult it is for a Russian to understand half of those pronounced transliterations if no graphical help is provided. That is the part of the learning curve for Angel Taxi operators – to understand what Moscow streets clients mean and try to pronounce in English... With this in mind, please try to tell us not only the name of your hotel, but its address as well.
If you underestimate these difficulties, watch the speech of Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s Sports Minister during Russia’s bid for World Cup 2018. The subtitles are allegedly the lines from an allegedly leaked and allegedly official but still allegedly confidential script in Russian…
If after this video you think Russia is “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”, Angel Taxi will do its best to help you, at least with taxi and linguistic riddles, as we have majors in teaching, languages and intercultural communication, we know how difficult it is to navigate in a city with very few signs in Latin alpabet let alone in your native language.
Are Russians friendly?
One of the tourists asked recently while visiting a cathedral on a tour in Moscow: “Are there many Russians believers?” –“Yes, quite many, in our company all top managers are Christians”. “But how could that be, if there are so many Communists?” (!) “There are very few Communists now, what makes you think there are many?” “Because there are so many Russians in Moscow who do not smile because they are Communists…”
…I had to explain that the only possible connection between Communists and so few smiles now could be the historical heritage from decades of Soviet regime, when foreigners were deemed as strangers to say the least. In late 1980s my efforts to provide tourists with tours on the Red Square were interrupted twice by police as unauthorized communication with foreigners was frowned upon. After the second time I was summoned to the juvenile commission and asked if I really wanted to be caught up for the third time and be sent to a juvenile correctional facility. I reckoned I wouldn’t fancy having that kind of academic experience…
History aside, below we explain why drivers of taxi in Moscowdo not seem friendly in particular.
In general, Russians are very serious about smiling (what an oxymoron!). In Russia, a smile is a deliberate, intentional face expression, hardly ever automatic as it is in the West. While the phrase ‘Kak dela?’ (“How are you doing?”) is becoming more automatic (Russians over the Soviet decades were less serious about speech) while still demonstrating a great deal of interest, flashing a smile is more of an attribute of certain jobs (models, waiters, sales assistants) and certain age.
Strangers smiling at you are still considered as someone unusual while in Soviet years it triggered even suspicion. Unsmiling faces are characteristic of Russians. While in Europe and USA smiling is polite, especially in the service industry (East included), in Russia smiling shows you like the person or at least know them.
Scientific articles about taxi in Moscow and elsewhere
A Social Snapshot of the Moscow Taxi Driver
Summer 2013 - Now all those who apply for a license for taxi in Moscow have to have yellow cars. All those who have received taxi licenses earlier can still use them whatever colors their vehicles are.
26.12.12 As the prices for taxi in Moscow traditionally grew a week before the New Year, a gypsy cabbie at a metro station asked for USD 10 for a 2-km drive vs. 750 rubles quoted by a taxi company in Moscow. As the drive was coming to the end, I asked the driver why he hadn’t received a free (!) taxi license and joined some taxi dispatching service in Moscow which would keep his hands full with taxi bookings. ‘Why and how much should I pay them for that?’ – ‘Why are you concerned about how much you would pay, not about the fact that you would have earned 700 rubles for the same drive instead of 200? The city is bursting this week with the shortage of taxis. You would benefit clients and yourself’. ‘No, I would only work for someone if they give me a corporate car and US$3000 wage’. ‘Would you treat their car as yours? Just google black lists of taxi cab drivers gone missing with cars or ruining them. So, would you be interested?’ – ‘No’.
No wonder Moscow scores last on “best taxi services” and “friendliest taxi drivers”. Habits die hard. However, there are two groups of cabbies who are among those friendliest: those in their late 40-s and 50-s who had worked in taxi in Moscow in pre-perestroika era, know Moscow well and treat clients even better; and those who have a clear picture how much they can earn (up to US$5000 a month for working hard and well) and are equipped with education, basic foreign languages, gadgets and technology to compete.
The main reasons why some do not look friendly are lack of English knowledge and some irrational (but historical) suspicions towards westerners. Generous tips help.
If you hear some ‘kitschy local music' in a car you hailed, just say ‘No thank you’ and wait for another one, or just call +79-ANGEL-TAXI to listen to Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’. It is one of those we enjoy. Or just tell to the operator ‘No music in the car, please’. Ihr Wunsch ist unser Gesetz.
20.12.12 Fares rose 20% in a traditional pre-New Year windfall. Orders grew 30%. Dec 31 and Jan 1 see a triple. Any taxi firm in Moscow that wouldn’t do that would be buried under the influx of clients.
In 2011 during a midsummer night we dialed a couple of companies who advertised English service for taxi in Moscow on the Internet. Some of them sounded as we awoke them but some replies were even more interesting: ‘When can we get a car, let’s say Ford Focus at the earliest?’ – ‘In 2 days’. ‘Why two days? We are not asking for a Lamborghini’ – ‘You can book a car with us with an English-speaking driver two days in advance’. ‘Ok, how much will it cost to get from Gazetny to Vilisa Latsisa?’ – ‘2000 rubles’ – ‘Why? There are only 20 km there’… Habits to charge foreigners excessively more in Moscow die hard…
While the state gave away grants to other states, tried to curb the influx of migrant labor from CIS which it had triggered itself in fat years oblivious to other countries’ experience, thousands of breadwinners in Moscow have been hunting jobs to support their families and pay off debts, even though the last recession is officially over and the next one hasn’t been declared. By 2008 many of these men and women had bought into the hype about Russia’s economic boom, innovation way of development and decoupling from developed economies, where the credit crunch was emerging. Many of them borrowed. Their debts swelled. The economy flopped.
If you book a taxi in Moscow now, the driver can happen to be a former (or current) manager, economist, lawyer – you name it; a variety of backgrounds come in CVs. For some of them driving a taxi in Moscow is one of the few ways to earn a living. Ruble fares for a taxi in Moscow are at their pre-crisis level. When the ruble was the weakest, euro and dollar equivalents for a ride in a taxi in Moscow plummeted by 30-40%, – in allegedly 'one of the world’s most expensive cities'! A ride in a taxi from the airport in Moscow to some east district with Angel Taxi averages £30, approx. a half of a ride in a taxi from the airport to London’s East End with Angel Cars.
Taxi in Moscow is one of the few markets where competition is so intense – to passengers' benefit. Angel Taxi in Moscow (and elsewhere) provides services at fares which are truly fair. We charge fixed taxi prices in Moscow per km (based on the shortest route), not per time. Though traffic jams in Moscow hurt per–km drivers we don't want our clients, who order a taxi in Moscow, to pay for our common problem, because it's not fair.
There are many opportunities to choose taxi in Moscow. And this choice should be responsible and rational. At your risk you can hail gypsy cabs which chaotically stand at the curb and hinder Moscow’s public transportation. They don't pay taxes, while robberies and rapes in them are a statistics often hidden from expats. Alternatively, you can call and book a taxi in Moscow and meet a professional driver with an extensive experience in Moscow or a former manager who just knows Moscow well, has higher education(s), speaks basic foreign languages and has been hunting for jobs in Moscow for months. In contrast to gypsy cabs they are responsible, client-oriented and most friendly and are selected to help you if you need a taxi in Moscow. You can help them earn a living and if they work particularly well, you might want to tip them, which has not yet become a custom – to thank for good driving a taxi in Moscow.
Pathetic images of foreign tourists in Moscow metro or on Moscow streets trying to compare their English pocket guides or maps with Cyrillic (all of them) signs have been daunting us since 1980-s. Now Angel Taxi provides a fair fare solution for foreign tourists interested in Moscow sightseeing by taxi to have a quick trip at a fixed fare from any car accessible place in Moscow to another one. Traffic jams in Moscow are tough, but out of over 1100 drivers there are 190 English speaking ones, and out of 50 operators there are 10 English speaking ones, so we might be quite helpful, even if you are lost (real case when we helped a foreign tourist). Call +79-ANGEL-TAXI. Our Taxi Angels are committed English-speaking operators ready to help you 24 / 7 / 365. ‘Be an angel and please dispatch us a taxi asap to …’ – and they’ll do their best.
Taxi Drivers and Beauty Contests
In 1990-s C. Camerer once spent a year in NYC and took a lot of cabs. Most cab drivers in the city were and are independent contractors renting the taxi cab from a taxi company for $76 (in 1990s prices) —paid in advance—for 12 hours. They keep all the taxi fares they collect, and they can call it quits and return the cab at any time before the 12 hours are up. Because Manhattan is so crowded, taxi drivers usually just cruise the streets waiting for someone to hail them. So once Camerer and his colleagues put a simple question—how does the amount of hours a taxi driver works vary with that day’s average hourly earnings?
Once an owner of a small taxi company in Moscow suburbs put a question: 'Who are the best presidents and economists?' The answer was ‘Taxi drivers, they have an answer to any question, that is why I forbid them to chat with clients by contract’.
Similarly Camerer writes that 'the cabdrivers, many of whom are amateur philosophers, political scientists, and labor economists’ taught him and his colleagues income targeting theory, which predicts that taxi drivers are going to quit earlier on good days.
He and his colleagues analyzed 3,000 observations of taxi drivers’ behavior from the years 1988, 1990, and 1994. These data were in the form of taxi meter readings. From the taxi meter records they could compute a taxi driver’s earnings, except for tips for taxi. Tips for taxi aren’t recorded anywhere on average they’re probably 10–15% of the taxi driver’s income. The taxi meter data thus should represent most of the taxi driver’s income.
‘In order to legally operate a taxi cab in the city you have to own a taxi medallion’. There are only 11,387 taxi medallions and that number has been fixed for 60 years. They’re worth about $150,000’, yet 10% of the drivers in Camerer’s samples owned one personally. Assuming that the taxi drivers who can afford to own a taxi medallion have some cash in the bank, they would behave differently.
Taxi licenses in the city are numbered chronologically by date of first issue, so the taxi driver with taxi license number 11111 got it just after the taxi driver with taxi license number 11110 which helps sort taxi drivers into high- and low-experience groups. Both categories, according to Camerer, seem to demonstrate commitment to income targeting, though high-experience taxi drivers seem to drive longer hours on good days.
Driving a taxi cab is an entry-level job for many immigrants and migrants, so there’s a constant inflow and outflow of new taxi drivers. However, drivers of taxi in Moscow often have higher education (sometimes two) and are quite educated.
Camerer et al made two basic lessons from their study. The first is that taxi cab drivers would get an automatic raise of 8% if they drove the same number of hours every day. The second lesson is that for taxi drivers, the labor-supply curve slopes down.
In the conclusion of the paper, Camerer writes that taxi ‘cab drivers,… don’t seem to conform to standard economic theory which assumes complete rationality by all participants’. Having worked with drivers of taxi in Moscow for years, arguably the most paid, developed and advanced group of taxi drivers in the country, we can’t agree more with this.
With our enthusiasm in economics and behavioral economics, we are ready to consider providing food for thought for further research related to taxi in Moscow.
Why you can’t find a taxi in the rain & other lessons from taxi drivers
In 2014 we read a paper by H. Farber who tried to explain why you can’t find a taxi in the rain and other labor supplies lessons from cab drivers. He starts his paper with Camerer et al’s conclusion about the negative wage elasticity of NYC taxi drivers. Farber analyzed data from all taxi trips in the city in 2009 – 2013 with overall pattern being that taxi drivers tend to respond positively to increases in earnings opportunities.
He starts the paper intro with the notion that it has been difficult to find a taxi in the city in the rain as long as there have been taxis as rainy weather increases the demand for taxi. Farber recalls Camerer suggesting that the daily labor supply function of taxi drivers is negatively sloped and thus characterizing taxi drivers as having reference-dependent preferences. Other authors, Farber writes, also found that labor supply curves for taxi drivers appear to slope downward as taxi drivers are target earners, which suggests another explanation why it is difficult to find a taxi in the rain: if cab drivers have a daily income target and a rain-induced increase in demand ups earnings, taxi drivers will reach their targets sooner and quit their hard taxi job for the day.
However, “the new view is that at least part of the reason you can’t find a taxi the capital in the rain is because taxi drivers reach their daily earnings targets quickly and go home so that the taxi demand increase is exacerbated by the resulting decline in taxi supply”. Rain may also make driving less pleasant, implying a reduction in the number of cabs in Moscow streets having nothing to do with target earnings behavior.
Farber used new data on taxi drivers based on the complete records of all taxi drivers in the city in 2009-2013 which addresses weaknesses of some of the earlier work on taxi. In order to examine the taxi market, he used the trip-level data to calculate the average of income, time with a passenger in the cab, miles travelled, and number of taxis on the street for each of the 48,824 clock hours in 2009-2013. He calculated time with a passenger in the cab and miles travelled during a given clock hour.
The focus of the ‘battle of models’ is the daily decisions of taxi drivers. Farber found that taxi labor supply is best characterized by the neoclassical model and left for future work analysis of the stopping model of taxi labor supply. Farber provides background information on the taxi in the city in Section 3 of the paper, and analysis of the why taxis are hard to find in the rain in Section 4.
In the context of the taxi labor supply, the basic idea of the reference dependent preference model is that a taxi driver has in mind a particular reference level of daily income.
There are 13,238 taxi medallions in the city with 7,664 of them being fleet taxi medallions attached to taxis and 5,574 independent taxi medallions owned by individuals. A subset of these medallions is “owner-driver” taxi medallions, which have a requirement that a substantial number of shifts in taxis with such medallions be driven by the owner. Other independent taxi medallions have no such restriction, and these taxis may or may not be driven by the owner. In either case, taxis with independent medallions may be leased for shifts to drivers with hack licenses.
Because lessee drivers are free to set their hours once they have leased a taxi for a shift, analysis of their taxi labor supply is fertile ground for learning about behavioral models in taxi. The earlier studies of taxi labor supply were based on analysis of relatively small numbers of hand-written “taxi trip sheets that drivers were required to fill out with information on the taxi fare.
Now the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, charged with regulating the taxi industry, now requires all taxis to be equipped with electronic devices that record all trip information including taxi fares. Farber obtained full information for all taxi trips taken in NYC taxi cabs in 2009-2013. There are approximately 180 million taxi trips each year in taxi cabs in NYC. About 62,000 taxi drivers had at least one taxi fare in a cab over the five-year period.
The underlying idea of the research is that when it is raining taxi drivers earn more per unit time. Rain may have a number of effects on the market for taxi rides.
Farber used the trip-level data to calculate number of taxis on the street and other factors. The count of taxis on the street is a count of taxis that had a passenger in the cab for at least one minute during the clock hour. A condition for target earnings behavior to contribute to difficulty in finding a taxi in the rain is that hourly earnings be higher when it is raining.
The finding was sufficient to reject the hypothesis that target earnings behavior contributes to the difficulty of finding a taxi in the rain, but left a puzzle: If demand for taxis is higher in the rain, why are earnings not higher? Farber investigated this by examining the relationship of other measures of taxi activity with rain.
Farber found that taxi occupancy rates are 4.8 percent higher when it is raining. Drivers make money only when passengers are in the cab. The increase in taxi utilization measured by time with a passenger of 4.8 percent is more than offset by the decline in supply of cabs of 7.1 percent. This means that the supply of taxi rides is lower in rainy hours, and any surge in taxi demand is unmet. One logical response would be to have a rain surcharge in order to encourage an increase in supply of taxi in Moscow or NYC streets. The fact that average hourly taxi earnings are higher on night shifts throughout the week is reflected in higher caps set by the TLC on daily taxi lease rates for night shifts than for day shifts. The night-shift taxi drivers may take over when the cab is first available but they generally stop before they are required to do so.
Farber concludes that the positive estimated elasticities do not support the idea that taxi drivers have reference dependent preferences and are target earners and reference dependence is not playing a large role in taxi labor supply.
He doesn’t exclude that experience helps taxi drivers take advantage of high wage days, by teaching them not only to behave as optimizers rather than target earners but also to take better advantage of earnings opportunities by modifying their taxi driving strategies.
Given the importance of income and the time commitment of taxi drivers, the value of learning how to optimize well is potentially very large in taxi industry.
Interestingly, as is with taxi in Moscow, it turns out that there is a fair amount of entry, exit, and reentry among taxi drivers in NYC. Besides, drivers who do not have substantial positive taxi labor supply elasticity with respect to unanticipated wage changes will find it harder to earn money as a taxi driver. Such drivers may be relatively likely to quit the taxi business.
Taxi drivers earn income only when there is a passenger in the cab. Whereas the standard employment arrangement of NYC cab drivers who don’t own their own cabs is that a driver leases a taxi cab usually a 12-hour shift (and usually does not use the entire 12 hours to which their taxi lease entitles them), drivers of taxi in Moscow usually lease a car for at least three days. That decreases the pressure on the owners of taxi companies in Moscow who otherwise would need to spent more effort on taking taxi cars back and leasing them out to the next shift taxi drivers. The taxi driver in the city pays a fixed fee for the cab plus fuel, and keeps 100% of the taxi fare plus tips. Drivers of taxi in Moscow cannot rely only on passengers hailing a taxi in Moscow streets and thus pay a commission fee to dispatching services who channel taxi bookings from their clients onto the pool of taxi drivers working with them, as Angel taxi in Moscow does.
Testing Alternative Models of Labor Supply
Y. Chou provides evidence from taxi drivers in Singapore, derived from a survey of taxi drivers in the country. The custom-designed survey allowed the author to investigate in some detail the nature of income targeting practiced by the taxi drivers. The paper uses data on the wage rates and hours worked by taxi drivers. Chou believes that the special characteristics of the taxi driving profession allows for conducting clean tests of the labor supply model.
Due primarily to demand shocks (such as weather), taxi drivers face wage rates that are highly correlated within a day. Besides, taxi drivers have the luxury of making a relatively unconstrained choice of the number of hours to work a day. The taxi drivers rent their taxis from a taxi fleet for a fixed fee and drive them for as long as they choose to during a continuous 12-hour taxi shift, i.e. the choice of hours supplied freely made by the taxi driver.
As is with taxi in Moscow, on a day (or night) when taxi business is slow, a taxi driver may simply elect to take a longer lunch break, stop to watch a movie or soccer game, or even take a short nap at home or in the cab.
A conversation with the head of the taxi operations branch of the Land Transport Authority, Y. Chou found out that that the LTA had not requested detailed hours worked per shift in their routine surveys of taxi drivers and thus it was necessary to custom-design a special survey to elicit the desired information for our the new study of taxi supply.
The objective was to elicit information of average hourly wage rates and daily hours worked by taxi drivers in the city-state. The PR manager of the largest taxi company in the city was contacted. It was suggested that the survey be administered to 200 taxi drivers who were participating in a newly-introduced scheme where customers could phone for a taxi and be guaranteed a taxi cab within 15 minutes for a surcharge of S$3 (about US$2). Since the taxi drivers had been in contact with the taxi company recently, it was felt that they would be more likely to be truthful in their responses.
Taxi drivers in the city-state work about 9 hours a day and collect approximately S$14 per hour in revenues (before paying their taxi lease fees and buying diesel fuel).
The price for a taxi in Moscow per time with Angel taxi is approx. US$ 16 per hour.
Since the results of Camerer’s study of cab drivers contradicted the predictions of the standard labor supply model and were more consistent with the target income model, it seemed natural that another study about taxi should be undertaken in the context of a fast-growing Asian economy.
According to Y. Chou, most taxi drivers wrote that taxi business in the city was good on very hot days, rainy days, public holidays, and bad during the school exams period (when students ride taxis to malls and movie theaters less frequently), in heavy rain, and near the end of the month (when customers are low on cash and are awaiting their next pay check). Many cited luck as a very important factor in taxi activity. Presumably, much of the variation in taxi business was felt to be unsystematic and not attributable to recurrent factors or conditions.
When asked if they drive longer or shorter hours when taxi business is good on a certain day, about half of the taxi drivers indicated that they would drive longer hours, while the other half claimed that they would drive the “normal” number of hours. Many cited the fixed times in which they have to hand over their taxis to the next taxi driver as a constraint on driving a taxi more hours on a good day.
A scrutiny of the survey forms indicated that wages tended to be high on Sundays while hours worked tended to be short. A possible explanation is that the taxi drivers’ desire to work longer hours when taxi business was good was tempered by the desire to spend leisure time with their families. This is similar to the practices in taxi in Moscow when many taxi drivers choose to have a day-off on weekend, even if it is easier to work on weekends due to fewer traffic jams in Moscow.
And the next paper was even more focused on the decisions of drivers of taxi in the city-state, and it was titled
Labor Supply Decisions of Singaporean Cab Drivers
Agarwal, Diao, Pan, Sing used a unique administrative dataset of over 520 million data points that tracks minute by minute of cab drivers’ work routine from the largest taxi company in the city-state for a period of one month, having the wage and labor supply information for all the taxi drivers at the company. The real time taxi trip data was collected via global positioning system (GPS) enabled cabs. The results of the study show that cab drivers deviate from the neoclassical economic model. In other instances they found that cab drivers behave completely rationally and supply labor consistent with the neoclassical model.
Whereas the US studies had wage information for less than 2000 taxi trips for over 600 cab drivers, Agarwal, Diao, Pan, Sin had data for 15000 cabs and 23000 cabbies that span over 10 million taxi trips. Unlike the data for the NYC cab drivers, which were hand-collected, data for this study allowed to know the status of the cab minutes by minutes.
The previous studies by Camerer et. al. (1997), Farber (2005) used mainly taxi trip sheets data recorded by cab drivers, which were provided by different cab companies in NYC. Farber (2008) and Crawford and Meng (2011) use the same set of data collected by Farber (2005) in their test of reference-dependent preference in cab driver labor supply. The largest of Camerer et. al. (1997) sample consists of 484 cab drivers with 1,044 recorded taxi trips; whereas in Farber (2005), 584 taxi trips were extracted from the taxi trip sheets of a smaller sample of 21 cab drivers.
The authors’ real time logs contain 16,793,501 data points from 15,406 cabs each day on average. The points are sorted day-by-day using the IDs of a total of 477,577 cabs (average of 15,406 cabs each day) and 779,417 taxi drivers (average of 25,142 cab drivers each day including relief drivers who lease the cab from the hirers) over the one month sample period.
The multiple taxi trips in each day are added up for each taxi driver to give the day-shift data for both single-shift cabs and two-shift cabs. August 14, 2010 (Saturday) recorded the largest number of 15,686 cabs on the road, and August 13, 2010 (Friday) was the day with the largest number of 25,767 cabdrivers on the road.
On average, daily, cab drivers spent about 304 minutes (5.07 hours) searching for taxi passengers (21.11% of their time), while the cab was used 51.39% of the time on the road. The productive output of cabdrivers could be further expanded if the balance of 48.61% of the time each day could be utilized to generate taxi fare services.
According to the authors, in 1999, the cab companies in the city-state started installing GPS satellite-based taxi tracking and dispatching system. In the same year, the LTA also developed an automatic data collection system, known as the “TraffiScan” system, to collect traffic speed data from a fleet of cabs on the road.
In 2006, an enhanced e-TrafficScan system was implemented after the cab operators have upgraded.
In a given 24 hour period, a typical taxi driver has a passenger on board for over 6 hours, they are on break for close to 5 hours, then taxi is free and looking for a passenger for 4 hours, and they are offline for another 8 hours.
Cab drivers do stop driving a taxi once they perceive to having earned a certain amount.
Agarwal, Diao, Pan, Sing start with referring to the above mentioned US studies, where cab drivers are good subjects since their wages are transitory and set a loose daily income target in their taxi activity.
A typical cab driver in the city-state works a 12 hours shift renting their cabs from cab operators at a fixed rental rate.
The authors had exogenous variation in wages due to peak load taxi pricing regulations. Specifically, 25% surcharges are imposed on the taxi fares during the peak hours from 6.00AM to 9.30AM and from 6.00PM to 11.59PM. After mid-night the surcharges above standard taxi prices increase to 50%. If a cab driver takes passenger from the airport and designated places, there is an additional surcharge above the standard taxi price ranging S$3.00 to S$5.00. Moreover, there is also a premium for advanced booking of a taxi.
In Section 2, the authors provide the institutional details of the taxi company.
The taxi market in the country was liberalized in 2003 when barrier of entry was removed for new taxi operators. Currently, there are seven taxi operators in the city-state, running a fleet of 28,210 taxi cabs. The two largest cab operators, Comfort Taxi and City Cab control 58% share of the cab market with a combined fleet of 16,299 cabs. The cab market is regulated. Only citizens with Taxi Driver’s Vocational Licenses are allowed to work as cabdrivers. There were a total of 95,764 Taxi Licenses issued as of 2012. Cab drivers usually join a taxi operator either as hirers or relief taxi drivers. Hirers lease cabs directly from the taxi operators; whereas relief taxi drivers make private arrangements with hirers to lease their cabs on selected shifts in a day. Different taxi operators charge different daily rental rates. A small number of cab drivers own their cabs, and they constitute not more than 1% of the total fleet. These taxis are recognized as yellow top cabs.
Singapore has 5,128 taxi per one million of population (cab/million pop) as in 2007, which is 3x larger than the 1,522 cabs/million pop in NYC, and 1.5x larger than the 3,285 cabs/million pop in London.
Despite the high cab to population ratio of 5.2 cabs per 1000 population vs. 1.5 cabs per 1000 population in NYC, the cab drivers in Singapore drive only about 9 to 10 hours a day, compared with 18 hours clocked by NYC cab drivers.
All cabs in the city-state are equipped with electronic meters. Cab fares are highly variables, which are made up of base taxi fares and additional surcharges. The base taxi fares include a flag-down fare of US$2.44 to US$4.06 for the first 1 km, and a variable taxi fare that are varied by distance travelled and waiting time. The distance-based taxi fare is a step-up charge with US$0.18 for every 400 meters in the first 1 km to 10 km. The waiting time taxi fare is charged at US$0.18 (S$0.22) for every 45 seconds when cabs are caught in traffic jam.
According to the authors (as of May 2013), cab fares are low in Singapore, where a 10 km trip will cost approximately US$7.96 (S$9.80), which is less than half of the US$17.43 (S$21.45) fare for the same taxi trip in NYC. Today (as of Nov. 2013) Angel’s taxi fare in Moscow for 10 km is US$13.85 and Moscow has been repeatedly placed as one of the most expensive cities in various surveys over years.
All cab operators in the city-state also offer current or advance taxi booking services at a fee, which varies from US$2.03 (S$2.50) to US$14.63 (S$18.00) depending on the time of taxi booking and the taxi type. Cab drivers will keep all the taxi fare charged (taxi flag-down fare, additional surcharges and taxi booking fees), but they are required to pay a fee to operator for the taxi booking services. Commuters, who travel into city at designated hours, are subject to congestion charges, which are paid through the Electronic Road Pricing readers in the cabs. The ERP charges payable on top of the cab fares are not retained by cab drivers, but they are paid directly to the government. If you call for a taxi, a taxi booking fee also applies. The total taxi fare is shown on the taxi meter.
Land Transport Authority implemented new minimum taxi availability standards with effect from 1 January 2013 to ensure that taxi services are better utilized and made more available on the road to serve commuters especially during the peak hours. The standards require 70% of the taxi drivers to drive at least 250 km per day, and the cab operators in the city must ensure that 70% of their fleets of taxis are in the streets of the city during the morning and evening peak hours.