‘Won’t specially come here’: S$3 taxi surcharge from Changi Airport not a good enough incentive for taxi drivers

'Won't specially come here': S$3 taxi surcharge from Changi Airport not a good enough incentive for taxi drivers


Taxi drivers also shared the sentiment that waiting in line only to pick up a passenger who wanted to head somewhere nearby was a waste of time.

They were also on the Grab platform, and said they could earn much more with the app than from waiting at the airport. 

Mr Tai, who plans to return to driving again, admitted the S$3 surcharge is a good incentive, especially with the return of travel, but “the current trend is that a lot of taxi drivers are enjoying the premium with Grab calls”. 

“My friends say that their income has surged quite high with Grab’s premium pricing. … Why would they want to try their luck and queue up at the airport? (The surcharge) is not good enough for them to come to Changi, especially if (the passenger) wants to go to Pasir Ris or Tampines only,” he said. 

“They don’t want to incur petrol costs and don’t want to wait half an hour at the airport.”

Another driver who only wanted to be known as Mr Lim agreed that those who join the queue at Changi Airport tend to be there “for a period of time”. As such they “hope they will get someone (who wants to travel) a long distance”. 

“I am someone who likes to (hustle) and if I queue at the airport, what if I pick up a passenger who only wants to go to Pasir Ris? Some people tell me that passengers might give tips, but you can’t know that,” the 52-year-old told this reporter on the drive to the airport. 

“We have apps that tell us when flights come in but I don’t bother. After I drop you off, I will drive off.” 

Mr Lim drives about 10 hours a day, six days a week. Within this time, he never joins a queue, “not even at normal taxi stands”. 

“Based on my research, there are two types of taxi uncles in a queue: Those who want to go around the area, and those who are retired and are driving for their pastime,” he said.

“For drivers like me, it’s different. We drive around the island to get more passengers. I don’t want to let my cab be empty.” 

CNA has contacted Changi Airport Group and taxi companies about taxi supply at the airport.