Another taxi company. This company also has a lot of types of taxi. Has a lot of bigger taxis.
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I feel that in essence, Prime taxis can be easily distinguished from their counterparts simply because they have a 'Prime supermarket' fee, about them. From far off, their design starkly reminds you of something from a very localised, down-to-earth supermarket chain and the interior is similarly designed as well.
The first impression I had when I sat in the interior of one such taxi was one of roominess. There tends to be bigger seats with more leg room in Prime taxis, and all at the same price since the company follows standard taxi fare charges. The monitor with the fare though, is unusually like the supermarket layout of displaying prices, especially that of the cash registers or the price of meat/vegetables after you weigh them.
The taxi uncle I travelled with was more or less polite. He barely spoke throughout the journey but I commend his knowledge of the roads well as he got us from Bishan to NUS within half an hour despite heavy traffic. However, one bad thing I noticed was that though the total fare was $19.90 and we paid him $20, he showed reluctance in returning the change, showing a bit of his true character.
My job requires me to travel quite frequently from sites to sites and I am allowed to take taxi for such travel. Although Prime does not have a very big fleet but it is also quite common for me to take a Prime taxi.
The first thing I observed about the taxi drivers from Prime was that the drivers were mainly younger and some even looked like they just started driving taxis. Being younger and coupled with the generally newer and bigger cars used as their taxis, some of these drivers drove like they were F1 racers.
Also. a few of the drivers I encountered were quite impatient and sped off even before I had properly closed the door. If I was really in a hurry, may be Prime taxis can be a good choice.
My family and I first took a Prime Taxi some time last year, after returning from a short family getaway to Thailand - and that was possibly our last journey with a Prime Taxi.
With my mum wheelchair-bound at the time and with all our luggages, we decided to specially request for a larger Prime Taxi, hoping to have a more comfortable journey home. Unfortunately, our initial encounter with the taxi driver was quite enough to put us off - upon hearing that we were Singaporeans and knowing where we were staying, not only did our driver refuse to help my mum with her wheelchair or us with our luggages, he began grumbling very loudly about how his taxi was meant to be a "luxury taxi meant for richer expats and tourists" and that "ordinary Singaporeans" like us should not be taking his taxi.
Throughout the entire half-an-hour journey back home, the driver continued ranting about how we as "ordinary locals" should have known better not to take his taxi and seemed to drive rather recklessly, frequently speeding and jamming on his brakes.
The last straw came when we finally reached our place. After making payment, my sister and I proceeded to help ourselves with our luggages and the wheelchair upon seeing that the driver was uninterested in assisting us. Little did we expect that a brief minute or so later, the driver alighted, complained that we were taking too long to unload our things, and subsequently accused us of damaging the back of his vehicle (which appeared perfectly fine to us).
Upon trying to defend our case, the driver started blaming us for not waiting for him to help us unload our things, and even demanded a compensation from us. It was only after we insisted on lodging a report against him that he finally let the matter rest.
Granted, the job of a taxi driver is far from easy, and our driver probably just had a bad day with some locals. But after hearing similar accounts of such incidents from close friends and relatives, it was a case of once bitten, twice shy - we have since avoided travelling with this taxi company again.
I have used Prime taxi thrice in my life so far and I am not taking it again. First experience was with my Mum who is a stroke patient and takes usually longer time to board the taxi. The taxi driver let out a huge sigh and responded with a "huh?!" when I told him that our destination was just three bus stops away. I knew taxi drivers do not like taking passengers on short distance so I tried explaining that my Mum could not move too well and taxi is our only mode of transport, hoping he would understand. Upon arrival, he stopped the car with emergency brake and my Mum's face was slammed against the head rest of the front seat. No apology and grabbed the fare out of my hands.
Second experience was worse. My whole family was sending my Mum home after meal on a Sunday and we hailed another Prime taxi. He heard that we are going to Little India and he made some noise, I ignored him based on previous experience. I know traffic condition is bad there on Sunday so I requested him to drop us in the car park so we did not need to wait in the jam for too long. He raised his voice and jammed the brake when he expressed his refusal to drop us anywhere except the taxi stand. My baby knocked her head against the head rest despite I was wearing a seat belt and my Mum's head hit the window. I made a complain to the customer service via the website as I could not get anyone on the phone, but I never hear back from them.
Last experience was unforgettable. Again we told the Prime taxi driver that we were going to Little India, he told me to get out and said something very disrespectful about the Indians. Again I made a complaint for refusal of carriage, till date I have never hear from them.