Provide more transport from airport in the wee hours

Arriving passengers forming a queue for taxis at Changi Airport.
Arriving passengers forming a queue for taxis at Changi Airport.ST FILE PHOTO

While it is good news that there will be two MRT lines at Changi Airport's Terminal 5, I hope the authorities will also look into providing more means of transport after the public bus and MRT cease operations for the day (Changi's T5 likely to be served by 2 MRT lines; March 6).

As a frequent traveller, I have often been on flights that land in the wee hours of the morning, and have heard pre-disembarkation announcements informing passengers that "the only means of transport to the city, at this time, is by taxi". This results in many disappointed faces, especially among foreign visitors.

A full plane that carries about 400 passengers naturally results in long queues at the taxi stand. The situation is worse on public holidays and the wait for a taxi can be as long as an hour.

By comparison, Hong Kong has public buses that operate 24 hours from the airport to housing estates, albeit at longer intervals and at a higher fare than normal buses, though still much cheaper than taxis.

We need to weigh the costs of extending the operating hours of public buses against the benefits of providing good transport links at the airport. If we can provide a little bit of convenience and present a good image of our airport to travellers, why not do it?

Richard Thong Kok Mun

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2017, with the headline 'Provide more transport from airport in the wee hours'. Print Edition | Subscribe