One of the things I’ve been enjoying (mostly) about Singapore is the excellent public transportation system. There’s a pretty comprehensive subway system (they’re actually adding a new line right now that will make it even more accessible to the “suburbs”) as well as a great bus system. But there are destinations and times when a cab is just the easiest way to get somewhere.
Taxis are legion here. Owning your own car is a 6 figure plus proposition. Cars are super pricey, then you have pay a lot of government fees, the gas, road taxes, and so on. For us (as well as most Singaporeans) it just doesn’t make sense to own your own car.
Practically every mall, attraction and major building has a taxi queue. There are also taxi stands randomly scattered on major roads. If there aren’t any taxis when you arrive at the queue, there’s usually a button that sets off a light at the street to signal the need for a cab. You can also hail a cab the same way you can in NYC.
But sometimes there’s a huge queue and you have groceries that are melting. Or there just aren’t any cabs stopping. Or you just need to get on the road.
That’s when you go online, call, or text a cab company. You are emailed, texted or given by automated voice a 4 digit plate number of the cab that’s reserved for you. You pay a small reservation fee of 2.50-3.50 Singapore (2ish dollars American) for this privilege. But it means you get in a cab faster (jumping the queue) than you would have if you waited in line.
With a toddler and a cart of groceries, this has saved my life on more than one occasion as things were melting in the 90 plus degree heat.