With literally tens of thousands of well-regulated taxis on the streets of Singapore, traveling by cab should not be too expensive. Because the system is so carefully regulated, visitors and residents alike need not worry about unexpected charges or being taken advantage of by Singapore taxi drivers.
Taxi companies like www.maxi-cab.sg tend to be very transparent about their costs with fare calculators on their sites. Taxi drivers charge by a system of meters and surcharges. Understanding these will make it easier to estimate the cost of a taxi ride. The first variable is the choice of vehicle. This may be a normal taxi, a limousine or a Chrysler with charges rising accordingly. Respectively, the flat rate for flagging down each vehicle is $3-$3.40, $3.90 and $5.00. Flagging a taxi down may be cheaper than booking as this generally costs $2.30-3.30 for a regular taxi and $10 for limousines and Chryslers with prices rising to $8, $18 and $20 for bookings that occur more than half an hour ahead of time. If taxis must wait at any time for passengers, this is charged in 45-second increments with regular taxis and limousines charging 22 cents per increment and Chryslers charging 33 cents.
Taxis in Singapore charge by distance depending on how long the trip is. For trips under 10 kilometers, regular taxis and limousines charge 22 cents for every 400 meters while Chryslers charge 33 cents for the same distance. For trips that exceed 10 kilometers, the distance drops to 350 meters but remains at 22, 22 and 33 cents.
Several surcharges exist. Some taxis may charge an additional $2 for more than four adult passengers. Between midnight and 6 in the morning, fares rise by 50 percent while during peak hours, which are weekday mornings from 6 to 9:30 and daily from 6 in the evening until midnight, they are charged at an additional 25 percent. Certain destinations also incur additional fees of a few dollars such as airports and resorts. Passengers also must pay for the fees of going through any ERP gantries.
Passengers in Singapore taxis do not need to worry about being misled about the price or overcharged. The system is exceptionally well-run and drivers tend to be honest. The rules for charging passengers are legally enforced and drivers must also display the price somewhere in their cars often on a sticker in a window. Passengers should be aware of the surcharges when estimating the total cost while keeping in mind that they are very unlikely to be taken advantage of by a taxi driver in Singapore.
Taxi drivers in Singapore will not negotiate prices and generally do not expect a tip. Receipts will include both the distance traveled and a price, and passengers can call the company with any disputes. Overall, however, visitors to Singapore are likely to be happy with the reasonably priced taxis and good service.