Touts at attractions draw ire of taxi drivers

Touts at attractions draw ire of taxi drivers

TRANSPORT touts are taking advantage of Singapore's bustling tourism industry.

And these illegal touts are usually found at popular tourist spots, making taxi drivers unhappy over the competition.

Cabbies said that the touts have been around for at least five years, but have been more active in recent months.

This is especially after the opening of new attractions, such as the integrated resorts, Marina Bay Cruise Centre and River Safari, reported Lianhe Zaobao on Monday.

When Zaobao reporters visited the zoo recently, they saw four men soliciting passengers at the entrance.

The men worked in teams of two - one would look for passengers, while the other would wait in his vehicle.

Once a price is negotiated, they would drive to the taxi stand to pick up the passengers.

The touts usually charged a fixed price or by the number of passengers.

For instance, a ride could cost $30, compared to less than $60 for a Maxicab, or $55 for a limousine.

Or the touts would charge $10 per person.

In less than an hour, at least three groups of passengers were seen leaving in a private mini-van. Each group had more than four adults and would have had to take two taxis. A mini-van can take more than 10 people.

A tourist from Kuwait, Mr Nawaf, 35, and his family of four were waiting for a taxi when he was approached by a tout, who asked: "Do you want a faster mode of transport?"

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