Singapore takes their taxi stands very seriously… As I learned by improperly flagging down a taxi.
Being a recent NYC transplant, I’m used to waving down a cab anywhere on the street, but this is not how Singapore taxis work. If you happen to flag down a taxi en route to a taxi stand, say at a hotel, the car plates will definitely be documented by the staff and the driver will be written up and potentially fined.
When this happened to us, we awkwardly sat in the cab for a few seconds because we didn’t really understand what was going on (thought we were just waiting for thru-traffic). We then realized the hotel staff was taking a photo of the license plate, we asked the cab driver who explained he’ll probably be written up for improper passenger pickup. Not wanting to ding the driver for something where it seemed like there was an easy solution, we exited the cab and walked around looking for a taxi stand. We were not allowed to get a taxi from that particular hotel after the incident.
So speaking from an awkward personal encounter, Singapore has a lot of taxi stands peppered throughout the city and it is highly recommended that you wait in line at these taxi stands where the cabs are all queued up.
I’m still not too clear on some of these rules in Singapore and will probably stick to Grab or Uber until I better understand this!