This is coming off rather randomly and I figured that there will be a second post on this; but I am just wondering aloud how many more criminals there will be this month onwards. You see, it is now illegal to stop a taxi in the middle of nowhere in the CBD – even if it is some ulu alley in some hidden corner. For all you know, they may be putting the "eye in the sky" to good use now, since they can capture taxi registration numbers now.

Oh wait a minute, they are doing that for bus lane offenders now!

WHEN cabby Wee Chew Khoon explained to his two passengers that they could not alight at Stanley Street, they were so incensed they abandoned his taxi at a traffic light junction near their destination – without paying the fare.

The 40-year-old taxi driver, who encountered the incident last week, said: ‘I told them that the nearest taxi stand was at Cecil Street but they got angry.’

Stanley Street, which is one street away from Cecil Street, is subjected to the new CBD taxi-stand rule.

Cabbies are increasingly finding themselves caught in the middle of what is turning out to be a hugely unpopular move.

Flout the rule and they risk being caught by the Land Transport Authority, like the 352 of their counterparts who have been warned as of March 10.

Many continue to ignore the rule and would still make kerbside stops, especially along smaller lanes like Keong Saik Road in Chinatown, which serves boutique hotels, restaurants and shophouse offices.

Those who comply with the rule sometimes get verbal abuse, or worse, from passengers who still believe they should get door-to-door service.

Last week, 46-year-old Daniel Lee had vulgarities hurled at him when he informed a pair of well-attired passengers that they could not alight at the MacDonald House on Orchard Road.

The nearest taxi stand was at The Atrium Orchard, less than 100m away.

Mr Lee recalled how another passenger had called him ‘a liar’ when he would not let the commuter get off at a specific spot on Purvis Street.

‘I tried to explain that it is a government ruling,’ he said with a sigh.

A check with cab companies found that complaints are rising.

ComfortDelGro spokesman Tammy Tan said it has received feedback from drivers who now face difficulties as a result of the rule.

Prime Taxis has received 15 complaints from its cabbies so far, said its general manager Tan Soon Chye.

General manager of Smart Taxis Niki Ong added: ‘We have had two or three complaints per day from cabbies since the rule started.’

Article obtained from on 13th March 2008

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