11 February 2013

Thoughts about taxi drivers

Two interesting insights from Marginal Revolution (via The Dish).  The first explains one of the possible reasons why a cabbie might ask you for directions to your destination:
I learned very early on to never drive someone to their destination if it was a route they drove themselves, say to their home from the airport, or from their home to work or vice versa. Everyone prides themselves on driving the shortest route but they rarely do...

When I first started driving a cab, I drove the shortest route -always, I’m ethical- but people would accuse me of taking the long way because it wasn’t the way they drove. So, I learned to go their way ending up with a lot less grief and a lot more money. If you’ve ever wondered why a seeming professional cab driver will ask you how to get to your destination, this is why. Going your way means they’ll make more money and they won’t be accused of ripping you off.
That's one reason.  The other, of course, is that in the U.S. they don't know where things are.  I remember flying to Minneapolis and giving a cabbie an address on a major road he had  not heard of.  I told him it was next to Minnehaha Park - and he hadn't heard of that! (Obviously he wasn't from Minnesota.  Or the United States.)  Here's the second tip:
If your car is ever stolen, your first calls should be to every cab company in the city. You offer a $50 reward to the driver who finds it AND a $50 reward to the dispatcher on duty when the car is found. The latter is to encourage dispatchers on shift to continually remind drivers of your stolen car. Of course you should call the police too but first things first. There are a lot more cabs than cops so cabbies will find it first -and they’re more frequently going in places cops typically don’t go, like apartment and motel complex parking lots, back alleys etc. Lastly, once the car is found, a swarm of cabs will descend and surround it because cabbies, like anyone else, love excitement and want to catch bad guys.

1 comment:

  1. Consequently, if someone steals a car, he better hides it in a garage or countryside for a while...


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