The Complete Guide To Taxis / Cabs In Singapore

Having a nearly perfect train system already, people in Singapore have the additional advantage of flagging down some 15.000 air conditioned cabs day and night, 24 hours.
They will bring you home for less then a single bus ride costs in Germany. They are cheap, you can have amusing chats with your driver, and in 50% of your journeys they know the way.

Blue, Yellow, Silver, Black – Whats The Difference?

There are all kind of colorful, corner cutting cabs cruising Singapore streets. When I first came here I thought the Mercedes Limousines, usually waiting in front of the more expensive clubs and bars would be much more costly then those yellow autoscooters picking you up from the next hawker center… but in fact, they are not.

Spending your time here you will start having your preferred “colored” cabs (mine are blue) but in the end they all do their job, they take you to where ever you want to go (well, in most cases at least) for relatively few money.

The Different Types In Detail

Here a list of cab colors and the according description / company:

  • • SMRT Cabs – White
  • • Citi Cabs – Yellow
  • • Comfort cabs – Blue
  • • Premier Cabs – Silver
  • • MART – Green and beige
  • • Limousine – Silver Mercedes

There has also started some kind of liberation in regards to cab business, but I’m not sure yet how it works and as what these typically London shaped and beige colored cabs can defined as.
Please write in the comments if you have more information!

Why Aren’t They Stopping? Where To Flag!

When a cab is free they have a green light / white light or sign on, saying “Free” or something similar that makes sense. If they are booked they have a red light or sign saying that they are occupied.
Now, with time you will encounter obviously “free” cabs that on a lonely and deserted street with wild waving potential customers, just drive straight past the desperate passengers leaving them with a kind of surprised mixed angry temper… why?

To be honest… I don’t know!!

There are areas, for example the CBD area where cabs are only allowed to pickup passengers at designated Cab-Stands during peak hours. But the above described situation will most likely happen to you during 1 and 3AM in the morning and for sure not in the business district.

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‘)); ?> So, don’t be surprised if you are waving like hell at 6PM next to Raffles Place and the cabs wont stop, they will get fined if they pick you up, so move yourself to one of the cab stands.

One of the possible explanations might be that cabs earn more if they get phone bookings which, if they have already made enough money that day, they can just wait for to come in instead of picking passengers up, “blocking” their cab.

The Fare / Payment System

Its rather complicated.

Payment on the one hand can be done via Credit Card, Nets card, cash or sometimes even your EZ-Link card, just watch out for the little stickers on the cabs windows that will tell you in which way payment can be done here.

Also be prepared that the uncle might not be able to give change on 50$ notes or higher if he just started his shift.

To be on the safe side I would recommend everyone to directly ask for confirmation on the form of payment you wish / have to do.

The Fare system on the other hand is more then complicated, there are several surcharges and extra fees that one might easily forget, so I decided to write an extra post just about the fares.

Read it HERE (Singapore Cab Fares Guide – Never Get Cheated Again)

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