Taken for a ride but taxi passenger reacts in a cool, gracious manner

Mr Syed Hyder, seen here in his own video, speaking to the taxi driver who allegedly took a longer route to earn a bigger fare.
Mr Syed Hyder, seen here in his own video, speaking to the taxi driver who allegedly took a longer route to earn a bigger fare. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK VIDEO

SINGAPORE - A video of a male passenger chastising a taxi driver in a non-confrontational manner for allegedly taking a longer route to earn a bigger fare, has gone viral.

In the 1  1/2-minute video clip, which was posted by Mr Syed Hyder on his Facebook page on Sunday (Sept 27) afternoon, Mr Hyder is seen filming himself while speaking to the driver.

It has since chalked up more than 70,000 views and over 1,800 shares.

The video starts with Mr Hyder calling out the unidentified male driver on taking an unusual route. He had told the driver to take the "fastest way possible" to Bugis but was puzzled over why he had chosen a longer route through the Marina Coastal Expressway instead of the straightforward one via Hill Street.

The driver can be heard replying "this one is more smooth". Mr Hyder then urged the driver to be honest and to not do it again, even though he was willing to pay the full fare (which amounted to about $14).

The 30-year-old, who declined to give his occupation, told The Straits Times that he boarded the taxi near Singapore General Hospital in Outram at around 1pm on Sunday.

"I was actually quite angry that I was being taken for a ride, but instead of letting it ruin my day I decided to film a video - just for laughs - to show my friends as I was sure they had come across similar situations before," he said.

"Honestly, I was shocked that so many people ended up watching the video."

The clip was also shared on the Facebook page of citizen news site All Singapore Stuff, which praised Mr Hyder for teaching the driver a lesson in a "gracious and gentlemanly manner".

But it also attracted several negative comments from netizens, who criticised Mr Hyder for being an "attention seeker".

He clarified that he did not have any ill intentions, and said he chose not to disclose the driver's name or the taxi company as he did not want to get anyone into trouble.

As for not specifying the exact route he wanted the driver to take, he explained that he been distracted by a phone call and did not expect the driver to opt for a circuitous one that took him to the Marina Bay Sands area. 

"I had wanted to use sarcasm and humour to defuse the tension in the cab," said Mr Hyder. "The driver even apologised to me when I alighted at my destination and we shared a good laugh about it."