There is a new breed of taxi drivers in town, and please do not call them "Uncle".

They are under 35, chose to be cabbies, say they earn a decent living and intend to stay in the job.

While official figures from the Land Transport Authority still put the average age of cabbies at about 50, industry players and taxi drivers said they are seeing more young Singaporeans taking up the job.

Younger cabbies said they like the flexibility of managing their time, and find that if they work hard, there is good money to be made.

And whereas many cabbies complain that theirs is a tough life and they struggle to get by, some younger drivers said there are always passengers waiting for cabs if drivers will only show up.

Some of the younger drivers have qualifications above the minimum secondary school requirement, while others have held well-paying jobs before.

Take Mr Mohd Fadzuli, for instance. The 33-year-old started driving a taxi once he hit the minimum age requirement of 30 for cabbies.

The Institute of Technical Education graduate had been earning less than $2,000 a month at a security company.

But he was looking for more pay and better hours, and found both as a taxi driver. Plus, he likes the life too.

"Because I'm young and a taxi driver, I get to see what's happening around Singapore," said the father of four.

Younger cabbies told The Sunday Times that their youth is an advantage. With better eyesight, they are willing to ply the roads even when it rains, work longer hours than their older counterparts and are more savvy with IT gadgets like the Global Positioning System, which helps them get around.

Taxi operators, however, said the proportion of younger cabbies remains low relative to the total number of drivers.

ComfortDelGro, the largest operator, said only about 3 per cent of its more than 33,000 cabbies are below 35 years old. But it has not tracked whether more young cabbies have joined them.

SMRT, the third-largest player, reported a slight rise in the number of younger cabbies renting its taxis. About 5 per cent of the 1,716 drivers who joined its fleet this year were aged 30 to 32, up from 4 per cent last year.

The National Taxi Association, which represents the unions of six taxi operators, could only say that there are pros and cons to being a cabby.

"While it offers flexibility in working hours and a decent income for drivers and their families, taxi drivers have to commit to long hours on the road and are not provided with benefits such as Central Provident Fund, paid leave and medical leave," said its spokesman.