SINGAPORE – The surcharge for taxi trips starting from Changi Airport will be raised by $3 from next Thursday (May 19) until June 30, in a move to increase the supply of cabs for passengers there.
Currently, trips starting from Changi cost an additional $5 on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays, from 5pm to before midnight, and an additional $3 at all other times.
This will be raised to $8 and $6 respectively.
The move, announced by Changi Airport Group (CAG) in a Facebook post on Thursday (May 12), comes amid a reluctance from cabbies to go to the airport to pick up passengers despite a revival in international air travel.
In March, some 1.14 million travellers passed through Changi, the first time passenger volumes there crossed the one million mark since the Covid-19 pandemic began more than two years ago.
The higher number of passengers, coupled with a lower supply of taxis, has led to long queues of people waiting for cabs at the airport.
In an report by The Straits Times earlier this month, taxi drivers had said that more money could be made in the Central Business District and at night.
Coupled with high fuel costs, they told ST they found no reason to go all the way to the airport, where they risk long periods of waiting with engines switched on.
CAG had launched an incentive programme in April to get taxis back to the airport, offering cabbies a reward of $10 for each day they made a minimum of three trips to the airport in three time windows – 6am to 10am, noon to 1pm, and 4pm to 7pm.
It also gave out free coffee to drivers in the morning, but the measures were inadequate.
Passenger traffic at Changi Airport more than doubled in April from the previous month, approaching 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.
This takes take Singapore to touching distance of achieving its target to restore passenger volumes at the airport to at least 50 per cent of pre-Covid-19 levels by the end of the year.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.