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Hometransport7 taxi drivers caught for overcharging passengers at MBS and Changi Airport

7 taxi drivers caught for overcharging passengers at MBS and Changi Airport

SINGAPORE – Seven cabbies have been hauled up for overcharging passengers at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Changi Airport over a four-month period.

Between September 2023 and December 2023, two taxi drivers were found to have asked passengers to pay a fare that was up to $20 more than the metered fare.

Two other drivers collected a fare that was $20 or more than what was shown on the meter, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in a statement on Dec 15.

The four drivers were offered a chance to pay a $500 penalty, and be given 12 or 21 demerit points – depending on the fare they collected.

The alternative was to face charges for their offences under the Public Transport Council Act.

Three other drivers were found to have asked passengers for fares beyond the metered fare, but the passengers did not take their cabs in the end, said the statement.

It added that the drivers were offered a chance to compound their offences at $100 instead of being charged in court. If they opt to pay the compound fine, they will get three demerit points.

Under the LTA Vocational Licence Demerit Points System, cabbies who rack up six demerit points or more can get their vocational licence suspended.

Cabbies that notch up 21 demerit points or more can have their vocational licence revoked.

LTA and MBS have worked closely to improve the traffic situation and manage the taxi queue at the driveway of the integrated resort, where there have been more incidents of touting and overcharging, the statement said.

On its part, MBS will set up a limousine service counter at its driveway to offer a premium service option for people who do not want to join the taxi queue.

Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Yeo Wan Ling – an adviser to the National Taxi Association and National Private Hire Vehicles Association – said in a Facebook post that the two organisations have received feedback from its drivers about touting.

She said: “Such activities give our Singaporean taxi and private hire driving trade a bad reputation and directly impact the livelihoods and safety of our drivers.

“The associations have worked with the LTA closely on the feedback, and support the stern enforcement taken by the LTA on errant drivers.”

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She added that the two bodies will continue to help drivers operate in a fair and positive environment, and provide them with a sustainable platform to earn a living ethically and safely.

LTA said it has sent out a reminder to taxi drivers about the penalties for touting and overcharging, and that it takes a serious view of such offences.

It said: “Such practices by a minority of drivers compromise the interests of passengers and undermine the integrity and reputation of the point-to-point passenger transport industry.”

It added that enforcement efforts will be stepped up during the festive period and that it will not hesitate to take errant drivers to task.

“We will also continue to conduct frequent checks at high-traffic areas, potential hot spots and locations reported to LTA by members of the public,” it said.

In a Facebook post on Dec 15, Acting Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said the irresponsible actions of a small minority of drivers ruins Singapore’s reputation, negatively impacts the industry’s standing, and is unfair to commuters and other drivers.

“Hope the message is loud and clear – please do not break the rules, or be prepared to face the consequences when you are caught, like what happened to the seven errant drivers,” he added.

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Members of the public can report incidents of touting, overcharging or drivers refusing to use the taxi’s meter at feedback@lta.gov.sg or the e-service titled “Report Vehicle-Related Offences” atwww.onemotoring.lta.gov.sg.

More On This Topic

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