‘Worst transportation experience’: Crawling traffic, long waits for rides frustrate S’pore Airshow visitors

SINGAPORE – Waiting almost three hours for a taxi ride from the Singapore Airshow to her hotel was not something Ms Inga Duglas, a senior corporate executive, expected after attending the first day of the show on Feb 20.

When she eventually got into a taxi, her fare from Changi Exhibition Centre, where the show is taking place till Feb 25, to central Singapore at 7.30pm came to $120, said Ms Duglas, expressing surprise her ride would be “so expensive”.

“I was hungry, thirsty and exhausted,” the 38-year-old told The Straits Times on the evening of Feb 21.

The 2024 edition of the biennial aerospace and defence exhibition has been drawing complaints about the heavy traffic in and out of the showgrounds, with some visitors telling ST traffic arrangements were poorly organised.

The first four days of the show, from Feb 20 to 23, is for trade attendees. The show is open to the public on the last two days, on Feb 24 and 25.

Ms Duglas was among 23 trade visitors and exhibitors interviewed by ST about their experience getting into and out of the showgrounds.

Some said they had to endure several kilometres of crawling traffic into the exhibition centre due to reduced access to Aviation Park Road and Tanah Merah Coast Road, as well as the inability to secure private-hire car and taxi rides to and from Changi Exhibition Centre.

Others spoke of the sky-high fares for these rides, and the long queues for the airshow shuttle, which plies between Singapore Expo and the exhibition centre.

Visitors have to pay a location surcharge of $15, on top of the metered fare, for taxi services leaving Changi Exhibition Centre until Feb 25.

Commercial executive Stanley Raj, 45, said this is the “worst transportation experience” he has had, when compared with other airshows he had visited, including the Paris Air Show in June 2023 and the Dubai Airshow in November 2023.

To exit the showgrounds on Feb 21 at around 5pm, Mr Raj waited more than 35 minutes for his private-hire car ride.

That morning, his ride to the exhibition centre was stuck in a 45-minute jam because of lane closures and security checkpoints.

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