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Living in Singapore

Taking a Cab in Singapore

If neither driving yourself nor using the MRT and bus networks seems to be just the right option for you, you might have somewhat of a hard time getting around in Singapore, particularly if you are keen on walking everywhere. The two remaining methods are either taking a cab or cycling in Singapore.

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Singapore deregulated the market for taxicabs and their fares in 1998. However, in an effort to ensure similar qualities throughout the various taxi operators in business today (seven as of 2016), they all have to adhere to the Land Transport Authority’s quality of service standards.

For you as a paying customer this simply means that your experiences with cabs from various operators will not be much different. All taxis in Singapore are metered, and most of them accept payment by ez-link, NETS card, and credit card, apart from the usual cash.

Taxi Fares

Base taxi fares for any cab in Singapore are as follows:

  • flag-down fare (including the first kilometer): 3 to 5 SGD
  • distance fares: 22 cents every 400m up to 10km (22 cents per 350m beyond that)
  • waiting time: 22 cents every 45 seconds

Apart from the base fare, there are also a number of surcharges depending on the area you hail your taxi in. For example, a 3 SGD surcharge applies to taxis flagged down in the CBD area from 17:00 to midnight. Taking a cab at peak hours and at night is particularly expensive. If you have booked a taxi via phone, you can expect to pay another surcharge.

Of course, the many premium services the various operators offer are not free of charge, either. To name two examples, Comfort CityCab’s MaxiCab wheelchair service operates for a flat rate of 50 SGD, while TransCab charges 10 SGD instead of the usual 2.30 SGD if you decide you’d like to ride in a Mercedes Benz.

Peak time and midnight taxi fare surcharges are:

  • 25% of the fare on the meter from 6:00 to 9:30 on weekdays and from 18:00 to 00:00 daily
  • 50% of the fare on the meter after midnight

With this in mind, you will quickly realize that taking a cab in Singapore is cheapest right when most residents and expats are probably not going to make use of one.

Singaporean taxi fares are considered fairly competitive and, compared to other world cities such as New York, are rather inexpensive. Also, as we have pointed out in our outline of the Singaporean bus network, nighttime public transportation services are somewhat lacking for a city of this size.  Taking a cab is often the most comfortable, albeit obviously not cheapest, option of getting home after a night out.

Updated on: December 06, 2018
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