The small island state of Singapore is served by more than 21, taxis, according to the September statistics from the Land Transport Authority LTA. While this supply of taxis may seem ample, the challenge is that no shopping mall or place of interest can control or guarantee a steady supply to their premises — and Changi Airport is no exception.
That said, it does not mean that the airport simply leaves taxi supply to chance. As with many other aspects of operations at Changi, the airport has invested in manpower and technology to help make this passenger service as smooth as possible. Using a taxi management system, which counts the number of taxis in queue at all four terminals, as well as the number of flights arriving each hour, staff monitor these factors to check that the demand and supply of taxis at Changi is balanced at all hours of the day.
Variables that can prolong the wait for a taxi include bad weather, driver shift-change timings, demand in other parts of Singapore during public holidays, year-end peaks, major events such as the Great Singapore Sale, or when arrival and departure flights bunch together due to timing changes in overseas airports.
Cabs Changi provides easy access to information such as how many taxis are currently in queue at each terminal, as well as which flights are going to land at each terminal in the next 30 minutes. These supply-and-demand data points help taxi drivers decide whether they should head to the airport. For taxis carrying departing passengers to the airport, signboards have been placed in easy view along Airport Boulevard, to help drivers decide if they should join the taxi queue to pick up passengers after their drop-off. On the demand side, trial ground sensors have been placed at passenger queues, to collect real-time data on passenger numbers at each taxi stand.
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With the data collected, the airport eventually hopes to be able to advise passengers on the estimated wait time for taxis when they join the queue. While Changi continues to ensure the smooth supply of taxis, there may be situations of built-up demand, especially during the year-end holiday season, when most people, including the taxi drivers, are travelling. To get to the exit we had to fight through a queue of people in the arrivals hall, it as only when we got outside that we realised it was the queue for taxis, it was all the way from the front of the taxi rank back up the walkway across to the terminal exit and right back to the luggage belts inside.
I have never seen so many people waiting for a taxi. It is often asked if people should pre-book a taxi or not and after last night I would have to say it would be a good idea. As for us, we met our car hire rep at the car park cafe and were on the road within 5 minutes. Oh dear, what an awful start to the holidays for some people. Have a great time Hayzer.
We are struggling in 36 degree temps in Bologna. Dont think ive ever seen it like that, my regular flight used to get in about 10pm and never seen a bad queue of an evening like that.
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There must have been something else going on to cause that. Was out for a few days last week and no queues on arrival but that was an early morning. Another observation the where plenty of cabs in the rank, I wonder if the new 4 Pax per cab is slowing the loading down. People arguing that a certain cab is a people carrier and last year etc etc. We have people visiting us next week and have booked a table for 5 and need to get a taxi will we have to get 2? Don't know, as you always pick hire cars up at airport.
The Taxi Queue by Janet Davey
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