Changi Airport have decided to discontinue a one-month trial of separate queuing for premium taxis at Terminal 1, merely one day after it started.
During the start of the trial, severe congestions led to a blaring of horns and confusion as both premium and normal taxis tried to figure out which lane they were supposed to use.
The trial was meant to provide commuters with clearer taxi choices and to help ordinary taxis move out of the queue faster.
Today, both premium and ordinary taxis enter the same bay to pick up passengers. Savvy passengers normally would not select the black Chrysler and Mercedes taxis because of price. This leaves the taxis congesting the bay.
A taxi driver who identified himself as Tan, told us that there have been complaints from tourists who accidentally board premium taxis only to find out the rates are very much higher.
“It is also better for us ordinary drivers. When a premium taxi enters the bay, they are going to be stuck there for a long time until they take an unsuspecting customer”, said Tan
The trial involves the creation of a separate queue for premium taxis at the taxi queue area with a dedicated queue line for passengers who wish to take premium taxis. the system had worked well when the trial commenced on Monday afternoon, especially during the evening peak period from 4pm to 6pm. Passenger feedback was positive with commuters who were prepared to pay a higher metered fare for a premium taxi service lauding the clearer choices presented to them prior to joining the taxi queues.
On the congestion matter, National Taxi Association (NTA) executive adviser Ang Hin Kee said the new system might seem unfair to drivers of some taxi models. But he hoped that after improvements were made, it would improve service for customers and result in fairer treatment for taxi drivers.
Earlier reports of an “industrial action” and “protest” is still unclear, but many drivers we spoke to onsite felt that the incident was attributed to traffic confusion over the two small lanes.
Mr Ang said the new system might seem unfair to drivers of some taxi models. But he hoped that after improvements were made, it would improve service for customers and result in fairer treatment for taxi drivers.
The trial for segregated queues will be discontinued until further notice.