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Taxi passenger rejections spark netizens’ outcry, urging LTA action

Taxi passenger rejections in Singapore have sparked outrage online, with netizens urging the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to take action. Many have shared experiences of taxis refusing fares, calling for stricter enforcement and reporting procedures to address this long-standing issue.




SINGAPORE: Taxi passenger rejections are not a new issue in Singapore, as evidenced by online reactions following a recent incident.

On Friday (31 May) Facebook user Rabi Leo shared his frustrating experience on the Complaint Singapore page, detailing how “five to six” taxis at Gardens by the Bay refused to take him to his destination in Sengkang.

He described a back-and-forth with the drivers, each directing him to the next taxi in line, none willing to accept the ride.

“I know times are tough, but this is not like other countries,” Leo wrote in his post.

“Can you choose and pick customers?” He expressed his understanding of challenging economic times but questioned the practice of taxi drivers refusing fares.

Leo further stated that this wasn’t an isolated incident.

“This is not the first time. It’s always happened around 9 to 10 pm,” he said, mentioning a previous encounter with a taxi driver who explained the queue was waiting for passengers heading towards the airport.

“It happened for years”

Singaporean netizens have taken to The New Paper’s Facebook post to express their frustration over taxi drivers refusing fares, with many claiming it’s a long-standing issue.

One commenter questioned why people are acting surprised, stating that this has been happening for many years.

They noted that taxi drivers often reject passengers when they are about to change shifts, preferring to pick up a fare heading in the same direction as their home.

taxi reject passenger comments

Echoing this sentiment, another user shared their frustration, recounting how they were repeatedly rejected by taxi drivers after revealing their destination.

They acknowledged understanding if the rejections were due to shift changes but emphasized that this wasn’t always the case, while also pointing out that not all taxi drivers behave this way.

taxi reject passenger comments

Several netizens shared specific incidents of being rejected by taxi drivers at popular locations like Gardens by the Bay.

One user detailed their experience with colleagues trying to get a ride back to Tampines and Pasir Ris after a team event, only to be rejected by three cabbies.

They eventually resorted to booking a Grab ride and waiting for ten minutes while the taxis remained idle.

taxi reject passenger comments

Another netizen recounted a similar situation at the Gardens by the Bay taxi stand, where taxis in the queue displayed green lights but changed to ‘busy’ upon learning the destination.

taxi reject passenger comments

Netizens urge reporting of taxi driver rejections to authorities

One commenter suggested that commuters who are rejected should take a photo of the taxi, including the driver and the number plate, and send it to the relevant taxi company for necessary action.


Another netizen emphasized the importance of reporting these incidents to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), stating that the LTA will investigate and prosecute drivers who refuse to pick up passengers without valid reasons, as it is an offense.


Netizens call on LTA for action

Several netizens have also appealed to the LTA to address this ongoing issue.

One commenter asked if the authorities could look into the problem, noting that some taxi drivers seem to prefer waiting for bookings rather than picking up passengers from queues or those flagging them down.

They urged the LTA to take stern action against errant drivers.


Another netizen recommended that the LTA deploy undercover officers in civilian attire to observe the real situation, not just at shopping centers or taxi stands but also at the airport, where similar issues occur.


A different user proposed that instead of relying solely on complaints, the LTA should conduct operations to catch these errant drivers.


This issue was earlier posted on Reddit for discussion. While many shared their similar experiences, decrying the poor attitude of taxi drivers, some were more sympathetic towards them.

They noted that the drivers are essentially self-employed. They rent a taxi from the taxi company and pay for petrol. If they think it’ll be difficult to pick up the next passenger after driving to your requested destination, then it makes no business sense for them to lose petrol and time on it.

One commenter noted that sometimes, the taxi drivers share shifts. So if they are late to drop off the cab to the next driver, they are going to work even later and miss out on more earnings.

“Convenience to you shouldn’t be at the expense of the taxi uncles’ ability to pick up their kids from school or getting home on time for dinner with the family,” they added.

Penalties for drivers refusing passengers

In a forum response back in 2019, LTA reiterated that it is an offence for taxi drivers to refuse to pick up and ferry passengers without valid reasons. This offence carries a composition sum of S$300 (US$222), six demerit points, as well as a possible two-week suspension of the vocational licence.

It noted that this rule is clearly spelt out to every taxi driver upon receiving their taxi licences, further pointing out that since the entry of ride-hail platforms, reported cases of taxi drivers refusing to pick up passengers have dropped significantly.

The LTA advises passengers who encounter similar situations to report the incident.

By calling the LTA hotline at 1800 2255 582, passengers can file a report that includes the vehicle’s registration plate number, the date and time of the incident, and a brief description of what transpired.

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