Group of foreigners charged S$100 fare to travel 3km from MBS to Chinatown hotel

They took a 7-seater limousine taxi ride.

Joshua Lee | October 31, 2023, 02:19 AM



A group of five foreigners on a visit to Singapore paid S$100 for a 3km ride in a seven-seater limousine taxi from Sands Expo & Convention Centre to Park Royal Collection Pickering in Chinatown.

The incident and the exchange with the driver was caught on video, which was subsequently posted on YouTube.

The video was created for the Carl Runefelt Vlogs channel and taken during the Token 2049 cryptocurrency conference that was held at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre on Sep. 18 and 19, 2023.

The vehicle used to ferry the passengers was parked by the curb reserved for taxis and bore the "Taxi" sign on top of the car.

What happened

As seen at the 9-minute mark of the video, the group of five, including a cameraman, were trying to hail a taxi or book a private hire vehicle to take them to Park Royal Collection Pickering.

When the group approached the limousine taxi driver, whose face was censored, he told them: "It's very jam over there. It will be S$100."

Deterred by the high asking price, one person in the group said they should book a private hire vehicle and got one almost immediately for a fixed S$20 fare.

However, as the group indicated the wrong pick-up address as Marina Bay Sands Tower 1, the taxi did not pull up at Sands Expo & Convention Centre.

Marina Bay Sands Tower 1 and Sands Expo & Convention Centre are separated by the Bayfront Avenue Road.

The group then made the decision not to walk over, citing the lack of time as a reason, and proceeded to board the S$100 seven-seater ride instead.

The seven-seater car is a multi-purpose vehicle.

According to the video, as the group did not take the other transport option that had arrived at MBS Tower 1, they incurred a S$4 cancellation charge.

Driver claimed credit card terminal spoilt

After the group arrived at the Park Royal Collection Pickering venue, they wanted to pay for the ride using credit card.

This portion of the exchange took place at the 19-minute mark of the video.

However, the driver said: "Card machine is not functioning."

Undeterred, Runefelt told the driver: "I don't think that's true, you just make less money. But this is actually the card we're going to use for today."

The driver acquiesced, and the payment was processed promptly and approved.

According to a signboard in the taxi, as seen from the video, one of the cab services provided is the hourly booking of the vehicle for a starting fee of S$100.

via Carl Runefelt Vlogs YouTube


One of the top rated comments on the YouTube video was supposedly by a taxi driver.

The commenter apologised for the behaviour of the taxi driver who quoted the high fare.

The comment said: "I am sorry that such a bad experience happened to you in our country. Please note that the one driver you met isn't a representative of all taxi drivers in this beautiful country and is rather someone who betrayed the moral values amongst us taxi drivers."

However, one other commenter argued that the group paid a premium only because they were unwilling to cross the road to get to the other private hire vehicle that was charging S$20.

Top photo via Carl Runefelt Vlogs YouTube