Sunday 16 December 2012

Singapore ranked No. 2 for taxi service: TripAdvisor World City Survey 2012

75,000 polled in TripAdvisor survey covering 40 cities like Tokyo, Zurich
By Pearl Lee, The Straits Times, 15 Dec 2012

LOCAL residents might carp about it, but Singapore's taxi service is rated well by travellers, according to a pop-up survey conducted by travel site TripAdvisor.

The Republic was judged to have the second-best taxi service out of 40 cities, which included Tokyo, Dubai and Zurich. Tokyo was number one.

Singapore's taxi drivers were also ranked the third friendliest, and its public transport the fifth best.

TripAdvisor said it polled 75,000 respondents, who were asked to rank cities they had been to in preferential order in various categories.

Travellers who had written a review of a hotel, restaurant or an attraction in the featured cities on its website during a certain period were asked to take the poll.

Other categories included the cleanest and safest streets, which Singapore was second in after Tokyo, and the most value-for-money city, in which it ranked 28th.

The 40 cities are in countries that received the largest number of international visitor arrivals, as compiled by World Tourism Organisation in 2010.

A city had to have at least 300 completed responses for it to be included in the results list.

Chinese student Marcus Jin, 23, who has holidayed in Singapore twice, said he had no complaints about Singapore's taxi service.

The taxis "are very comfortable and, with Global Positioning System (GPS), the drivers can find almost any place in Singapore", said Mr Jin.

In China, he said "the taxi drivers don't use GPS to navigate at all", even in big cities like Beijing.

"Sometimes, they end up getting lost," he added. "And if they see a Westerner, they usually try to take a longer route."

Singaporean Ng Hui Yi, who was a student in Melbourne for five years, said the taxi service here is at least reliable.

Said the 24-year-old banking executive: "In Melbourne, even if you call and make a booking, the taxi might not turn up.

"But in Singapore, taxis are reliable. They try to get you to your destination as quickly as possible."

Still, perennial grouses, for instance, about taxis being hard to get at certain times, remain. Sales executive Trina Tay, 29, said it is hard to find one on rainy days, and almost impossible to get a taxi without calling for one from her home in New Upper Changi Road.

"Once you get your taxi booking confirmed, the taxi arrives quite fast. But you have to wait for a long time to even get a confirmation," she added.

While Singapore scored well for having friendly taxi drivers, it came in 28th for the friendliness of locals.

However, this was not the case for Ms Ashton Williams, a 22-year-old American teacher based in South Korea, who visited Singapore in December last year.

She said: "I did not have any bad experiences with Singaporeans. Everyone was very polite and accommodating."

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