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MaxiCabs to impose new surcharge for rides with more than four passengers

SINGAPORE — From next Monday, a S$3 surcharge will be imposed on each passenger when more than four adult passengers take ComfortDelGro’s MaxiCabs, a seven-seater limousine taxi.

MaxiCabs to impose new surcharge for rides with more than four passengers

One taxi passenger TODAY spoke to said a MaxiCab (pictured) would still be worth it with the surcharge even if there are six passengers. Photo: Don Wong

SINGAPORE — From next Monday, a S$3 surcharge will be imposed on each passenger when more than four adult passengers take ComfortDelGro’s MaxiCabs, a seven-seater limousine taxi.

ComfortDelGro, Singapore’s largest taxi operator, posted a notice about the surcharge in a classified advertisement on Friday (April 29) but did not elaborate on the reason for the move.

The operator added only that the surcharge will not be applicable for flat-rate transfer services.

ComfortDelGro could not be reached on Monday for comment either.

Taxi passengers TODAY spoke to, however, were shocked at the news.

Madam Huang Liqi, 54, occasionally takes the MaxiCab to bring her mother, who is in her 70s, to the hospital for check-ups, and her father and domestic helper would usually follow them.

“Sometimes my nephews may follow us to the hospital, too, so there are five of us in the taxi,” said the office worker. “I’m not sure why there’s a need (for the) extra surcharge when the taxi can seat seven people.”

Another regular taxi passenger, however, felt that the surcharge would be value for money for longer trips.

The 23-year-old research assistant, who wanted to be known only as Hui Shan, noted that a trip from Jurong to Changi could cost about S$25.

“If there are six (of us), we have to get two cabs, which makes the total amount S$50,” she said. In a MaxiCab, however, they would pay less even with the surcharge. “(It is) still worth it,” she added.

Transport expert Park Byung-joon, an adjunct associate professor at SIM University, said the surcharge could be the taxi operator’s way to help its MaxiCab taxi drivers “earn more revenue and help them cover operating costs”.

Dr Park noted, however, that the extra surcharge could potentially make it “less attractive” for passengers to call for a MaxiCab as passengers may not be willing to spend the additional sum.

The boarding fare for MaxiCabs is S$3.90, with a 30-cent fare jump for every 400m or less after the first kilometre up to 10km and every 350m thereafter or less, as well as for every 45 seconds of waiting or less. The current booking fee is S$10.

The MaxiCab is one of several limousine cabs in Singapore. Others include the Mercedes Cab, the London Cab and the Chrysler Cab.

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