Pet Hate #342 .. Taxis

What’s the one thing that binds most towns and cities worldwide in terms of being absolutely and completely crap? Yep, Taxis (and taxi drivers).

Standing in the line for an hour and a half at 1:00am at Star City casino the other day gave me plenty of time to think about the subject, and I reckon that in pretty much every single city I’ve been to (except maybe Hong Kong), taxis exhibit these similar attributes:

– pricey
– late or never show for a booking
– never available when it rains, snows or even feels like an unusual weather event
– impossible to get late at night (London and Sydney being two extreme examples)

and are equipped with a driver who:
1. Doesn’t speak English (allowable in non-English speaking countries of course!)
2. Doesn’t wash
3. Drives at the speed of Michael Schumacher with the driving skill of Stevie Wonder
4. Doesn’t know where he’s going
5. Tries to rip you off if he thinks you don’t know either
6. Will attempt to go off-meter or haggle an additional price
7. Will add on all sorts of mysterious extra charges
8. Doesn’t want to go south of the river/north/on a short trip/to the badlands etc etc
9 Will engage you in a one-way conversation on all the subjects he is an expert in (thank you talk radio!)
10 Will spend most of the journey on the phone/pressing random buttons in the cab/sniffing/changing lanes for no reason whatsoever or fiddling with the aircon.

I hate taxis with such a passion that I will go out of my way to find alternative methods of getting somewhere, or simply not bother!

Am I mad or do other people feel the same way?

What I really need is my own private driver 🙂

3 Responses to Pet Hate #342 .. Taxis

  1. Sean says:

    Yes, you are completely correct. Ever try getting a taxi from Dublin airport to Swords? you’re met with a barrage of humms and haws, and ‘jaysus’s’, because the distance is not great enough.

  2. […] never really sat happily with the quirky stuff, and whilst I enjoyed having a rant about chavs and dodgy taxis, I was really keen to introduce some quality ’serious’ […]

  3. ne0teny says:

    I agree nearly 100% with you. I’ve never had one try to go off-meter, and I know the mysterious extra charges quite well so they don’t take me by surprise any more. But also lets not forget the possibility of giving up your credit card details to the greater criminal community if you have occasion to use it in a cab.

    I’ve had a few notable cab trips. On a trip from Sydney city to Parramatta I once had to wake up the taxi driver after the traffic lights turned green and I discovered he was napping and didn’t notice.

    I once had a trip from Auckland airport to the city when the driver was telling me about his gun battle with police. 0.0 He then went on to tell me how he had now found god, and I found myself wishing he was still talking about trying to kill people.

    And then there was the Melbourne taxi driver who decided every traffic light was an opportunity to pull out his guitar to serenade his passengers. >.< There are really a lot of traffic lights. No, really.

    And at one stage a few months ago I noticed a few taxi drivers not wearing seatbelts. I ended up taking a tally of those with and without seatbelts over a few weeks of walking to get coffee, to/from work etc. What I found was that out of 100 taxis clearly seen in the Sydney CBD, 97 were not wearing seatbelts.

    What can you say about them really.

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