A group of five foreign visitors to Singapore attending the TOKEN2049 cryptocurrency conference found themselves in a baffling situation when they were charged S$100 for a 3km ride from the Sands Expo & Convention Centre to Park Royal Collection Pickering in Chinatown.
The incident, captured on video and posted on YouTube, has sparked discussions about the fairness of the fare.
During the TOKEN2049 event held on September 18 and 19, 2023, the group, including a cameraman, was seen attempting to secure transportation from the event venue to their destination.
Highlights of TOKEN2049 Singapore 2023
When they approached a seven-seater limousine taxi parked in the taxi zone with the “Taxi” sign, the driver initially quoted them a steep S$100 for the short ride, citing traffic congestion.
Dissuaded by the high cost, one member of the group suggested booking a private hire vehicle, and they quickly secured one for a fixed fare of S$20. However, due to a misunderstanding regarding the pick-up location at Marina Bay Sands Tower 1, the private hire vehicle did not arrive at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre.
Faced with limited time, the group decided not to cross the road to reach the correct location and instead opted for the S$100 seven-seater ride.
It’s important to note that the group incurred a S$4 cancellation charge for not taking the initial transport option that had arrived at Marina Bay Sands Tower 1.
Upon arriving at their destination, the passengers requested to pay for the ride using a credit card. The driver initially claimed that the card machine was not functioning. However, after some negotiation, the payment was successfully processed using their card.
The video’s comments section on YouTube featured a mix of reactions. One commenter, purportedly a taxi driver, apologized for the high fare and emphasised that the driver’s actions did not represent all taxi drivers in Singapore.
On the other hand, another commenter suggested that the group paid a premium because they were unwilling to walk to the other private hire vehicle charging only S$20, which was located across the road.
The incident has ignited a debate about the transparency and fairness of taxi fares, especially for tourists attending events like TOKEN2049 in Singapore.