Some passengers unbothered by extra S$3 cab surcharge from airport; taxi shortage and long waiting times remain issues


For 32-year-old Song Li, who was returning to Singapore with her family after a holiday, the current S$3 surcharge on weekdays "doesn't bother (them) too much" as they do not travel very often. But with an additional S$3 surcharge soon, she pointed out "that's maybe too much".

"From the airport to our home, it's a very long distance. So that's already a lot (of money), and if you charge more, it's not very reasonable," she said.

But others who spoke to CNA were more accepting.

Jason, who declined to give his full name, was queuing for a taxi with his wife and two toddlers. With his "current situation", the 38-year-old Singaporean said, gesturing to his toddlers who were running around, the surcharge does not affect his decision to take a taxi.

"It's probably very inconvenient to take the train. And Grab doesn't really accept my children for now, unless we choose GrabFamily," he said, referring to the child-friendly option on the ride-hailing app.

In March, ComfortDelGro announced that it would temporarily increase fares for all its taxis from Apr 4 to cushion the impact of the recent increase in fuel prices. And so, considering the rise in fuel prices, Jason said that "in general", the current and impending airport surcharge is reasonable.

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Similarly, American visitor Kyle Sadler, who works in the oil and gas industry, is not put off by the taxi surcharge as "you see this everywhere you go, it's kind of a normal thing".

The impending extra surcharge does not compel him to take public transport either.

"I can understand (people who are turned off by the surcharge), but it doesn't affect us, because of the nature of what we do here. We travel on business. It's not that big of a deal. But I can understand people who would be (put off)," said the 52-year-old who is in Singapore for the third time.

Meanwhile, a more frequent visitor to Singapore, 46-year-old Craig Hemopo from New Zealand, said that taxi rides are "a lot cheaper here anyway" compared to those back home. So the taxi surcharge from the airport is "no big deal".

Having been to Singapore "around seven to eight times", he added that the additional S$3 surcharge still would "not at all" affect his decision to come to Singapore.

"Everyone's got to make a living. … If you're worried about S$6 coming to Singapore, maybe this isn't the place for you," he noted.

Artmotion Asia

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