I have been a taxi driver with comfort delgro for the past twenty years. This unpleasant incident happened to me yesterday morning at Changi Airport Terminal 1 taxi stand.

After dropping a passenger at terminal 2, I was on my way out when i saw the electronic board saying they needed taxi at terminal 1. I then proceeded to terminal 1 taxi stand. Everything was as per normal until i reached the point where there is a taxi coordinator who would direct us to go to the two different taxi stands in the same terminal. (For those who do not know, there are two taxi stands in each terminal. The cooridnators communicates to each other by walkie talkie so that when then require taxi at their taxi stand they coordinator will signal us to move according to requirement.)

Upon reaching the point where the coordinator was supposed to be there was no one. The taxis in front of me were moving into the empty taxi bay in the first taxi stand which were closer. When my turn came I saw that all the taxi bays were full and as there was no coordinator and the board earlier saying they required taxi at terminal 1, I used my initiative and moved forward to the other taxi stand which was further away.

Arriving at the second taxi stand, I spotted only two taxis there. One was a mercedes cab and the other was a maxi cab. I then took a spot in the taxi bay to the left. Immediately an elderly male indian who was the taxi coordinator at the second taxi stand scolded me for coming there when i was not called. I explained to him on the sequence of events but he refused to listen and ordered me to leave. I refused as I had spent more then twenty five minutes getting there and the taxi bay were practically empty except for the two premium taxis. He then told me that he will not assign any passengers to me even though I wait there the entire day. I told him that what he was doing was wrong and that i will video the entire proceedings. He then called for a colleague to come over. Another coordinator an Indian lady came. while she was walking over she shouted to the old man not to assign any passengers to me. She spoke in tamil and being tamil myself I understood what was spoken. I told them a complaint will be lodged and requested for their names however both refused to provide any particulars and their name tags were not visible.

I continued to wait at the taxi bay and when they first passenger came he was walking towards my taxi and the male cooridantor told the passenger not to take my taxi which is a comfort I40 but to take the merecedes which was first in the queue. I did not argue, the driver was there before me so i let it be. When the second passenger came he too walked towards my taxi as the maxicab was the only other available choice. The coordinator intervened again and asked the passenger to take the maxi cab. Next in queue was my taxi and when the passenger came he blocked them from taking my taxi and called for taxi in the queue from the other taxi stand to proceed forward. This happened for the next four passengers.

I realised that i cannot stay there the whole day and argue with them but I still think what they did is unethical and should be stopped. First why were no taxis allowed to go to the second taxi stand while the two premium taxis were there even though there was a long queue of taxi waiting. This gives an impression to passengers who are incoming that currently only premium taxis are available while normal taxi are aplenty

Second does a coordinator have the right to push passengers to take only the taxi that they point to.

Third why are the coordinators so keen in pushing the jobs to premium taxi drivers instead of their job which is to ensure the smooth flow of taxi in taxi bay.

Fourth why are the name tags hidden under their jacket or do they not wear name tags at all.

Fifth why is there no place for us to make a complaint or when we ask to speak with the supervisors nobody wants to help out.

I know some feedback are not taken seriously but if this is seen as an issue I will be happy to help identify the people involved and will be willing to even assist in their investigations if any.

bala suppramaniam
A.S.S. Contributor

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