Changi Airport is one of the biggest airports in SE Asia. In fact, it ranked as the 17th biggest airport in the world, with 60 million annual passengers passing through in 2016 compared to just 5.6 million people living in the country! While this is mostly because Singapore serves as a transfer hub for people travelling through Southeast Asia, it is also because Singaporeans love to travel. If you frequent Changi Airport, however, you might be surprised to find out that Taxis have been ripping you off on your taxi fare to the airport.
Taxi Fares to Changi Airport
Changi Airport's official website states that a taxi ride between the city and the airport should cost around S$20 to S$40, depending on the time of the day and your destination. When we actually estimated the fare to the airport to various parts of the city, we indeed found this to be true. A taxi ride to Bedok, for example, should cost around S$18, while a ride to Jurong could cost about S$37. Given that you probably have a lot of luggage, and a long flight ahead (or just had a long flight), spending S$20 to S$40 to arrive quickly in comfort might sound like a great idea. However, our study found that taking a traditional taxi could be a terrible mistake.
|To Changi Airport||Taxi Fare (S$)||Minute||Km|
|Woodlands Train Station||32||32||33.8|
|Jurong West Swimming Complex||37||39||42.5|
Grab and Uber Are 20-40% Cheaper Than Taxi Rides
What if you called a Grab or Uber ride to take you to Changi Airport? According to ValuePenguin's study, Grab rides to the airport should cost around S$11 to S$30, depending on your location, about 20%-40% than taxi fares listed above. Even if we take out the impact of additional S$5 airport charge on taxi rides, Grab and Uber rides turned out to be 10-20% cheaper than taxi rides. These estimates are based on the exact same length and duration of trips from each location to Changi Airport.
Impact of Additional Discounts from Credit Cards
Although Grab and Uber rides are already 20-40% cheaper than Taxi rides to the airport, it can be even cheaper if you account for the impact of using certain credit cards. For example, Citi Cashback Card has a promotional 20% discount on all Grab rides until 6 July 2017, after which they still provide an 8% discount on your Grab rides. UOB YOLO Card goes one step farther to make your Grab rides completely free on weekends until the end of 2017. Last but not least, Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card provides a 10% discount on all your Uber rides anywhere in the world. With all these options available for you to save even more on your ride to Changi Airport, using Grab or Uber could be 30-100% cheaper than using a regular taxi ride. Knowing this, why should anyone take a regular taxi to the airport?
To calculate the approximate cost of taxi rides to Changi Airport, we used the Taxi Fare Finder website to get an approximate fare, distance and duration of the trip from each of the 5 locations we chose. We collected these data points for trips to Changi from Raffle Place, Bedok Mall, Woodlands Train Station, Jurong West Swimming Center and Hougang Mall.
Then, we collected data on how Grab and Uber price their rides depending on distance and duration of the trip. By combining these data points, we were able to get accurate estimates of a typical Uber/Grab ride to Changi from various locations in Singapore. We also collected estimated fares from Uber's website as well, which generally matched our estimates.
This article was first published at ValuePenguin.