Taxi Hall of Fame & Shame

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An experience in a taxi is often one of the first defining moments when you reach a new city, whether for business or fun. This experience can set the tone for the entire trip, leaving the passenger excited to explore or with a sour taste and low expectations of the city.  We decided to dig deeper into the reputations that different cities around the world have for their taxi services. Based on research conducted from various travel websites, traveler forums, and the TaxiFareFinder community, we have compiled a list of the top five cities with the best and worst reputations. This information was collected, organized, and ranked by TaxiFareFinder staff based on the following criteria points:

  • Availability: the amount of taxis on the street, available to pickup passengers
  • Cleanliness: the state of the taxi when a passenger enters; the cleanliness of the seats, windows, handles, etc.
  • Friendliness: the demeanor and attitude of the driver; willingness to chat and answer questions of the passenger
  • Knowledgeable: the ability of the driver to navigate confidently around the city without getting lost
  • Quality of Driving: the ability of the driver to operate the vehicle in a safe and comfortable manner for the passenger
  • Quality of Vehicles: the condition of the automobile serving as the taxi; up-to-date, well-taken care of vehicles
  • Safety: the overall sense of safety for passengers
  • Value: the cost of the taxi ride in relation to time and distance travelled

The Hall of Fame highlights cities with the best reputations around their taxi services, showing the top 2-3 attributes that allow the city a high ranking. The Hall of Shame highlights cities with low reputations, but with attributes shown in red to signify low ranking in these categories.  Do you agree with the TaxiFareFinder Taxi Hall of Fame & Shame?

Ridiculous Taxi Stories

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Whether your cab driver drove through Manhattan like a speed demon or tried to humor you with knock knock jokes, we have all had at least one interesting taxi story for the books. Our team at TaxiFareFinder loves to hear funny, shocking, and just downright outrageous taxi stories! One of our favorite TaxiFareFinder pages is this one here where you can submit your own taxi stories and of course read about other crazy rides. Here are some of our favorites!

 

Cabbies know it best (Submitted by Kate)

Mine isn’t a complaint at all. I was pregnant and in labor. On the way to the hospital the cabbie kept telling me to breathe. He pretty much carried me into the hospital and offered to stay with me. The next day there were a dozen roses sent to my room. I never knew his name-he signed the card “Cabbie and family”

 

Estimated Fare: Turkey Sandwich (Submitted by Ari)

I was a 15 year old science nerd stranded in San Francisco with no street smarts, applying to an accelerated program at Stanford. I was all alone without money and I’d missed my bus to the airport, and was going to miss my flight home. I’d gotten a business card from this Arab cabbie who’d driven me from the airport a couple days before, and when I called him and explained my situation he remembered me, burned rubber out to the university, and blew through several red lights to get me to my plane. Stupid me, I hadn\’t even known to give him a tip the first time he’d driven me, but the second time I didn’t even have enough money for the whole fare. All I could do was offer to give him my lunch which was a turkey sandwich from Safeway, and he accepted. That guy really helped me. I still remember his name, thank you Haji.

 

Yes, you can (Submitted by Ange)

Can I tell a positive story? I took a cab to the commuter rail, and once I got on the train, I realized I had left my BlackBerry in the cab! After calling my phone a couple times, the driver heard it and answered, asking me where he could drop it off. Instead of stealing or ignoring it, he ended up returning it to the dorm for me! I wish I knew who he was and the cab company- a truly awesome cab driver right there.

 

What a coincidence?! (Submitted By: young and dumb)

I went to chicago with some friends for our senior spring break in high school, took the train from St. Louis to ChiTown. When we got there, we caught a cab to take us to our hotel. He took us to the wrong one, which we didn’t realize until we were inside. Came outside to catch another cab got the same driver again…oh to be 17 again.

Our Favorite Taxi Bloggers

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We love to hear the voices, opinions, and stories of the champions of the roads, our taxis drivers who see and hear it all. They have the best stories and years of wisdom from their diverse experiences on the job. Below are a few of our favorite, most recent taxi blogs. They focus on different aspects of the profession as well as industry happenings. Take a read to understand a day in the life of a taxi driver: from the ridiculous to heartwarming to straight up unbelievable.

Cabs Are For Kissing –  Eugene Salomon, a talented writer and New York City cab driver since 1977, recounts his experiences and realizations while driving around the city that never sleeps. His blog is a breath of fresh air complete with run-ins with celebrities like Derek Jeter and Robin Williams to tales of hostile passengers who make the job so difficult. Salomon also authored the book Confessions Of A New York City Taxi Driver, which includes even more stories about the wide array of incredible and unbelievable passengers who flow in and out of his taxi.


Taxi Gourmet – The combination of delicious food and taxis may not be obvious at first, but Taxi Gourmet blogger Layne Mosler creates seamless unity. Mosler is a food enthusiast turned cab driver who travels to cities around the globe, hails a taxi, and asks the driver for a ride to their favorite restaurant. The Taxi Gourmet project has resulted in the discovery of amazing meals and restaurants that may have otherwise been overlooked. Several cities are featured on the blog, including Berlin, New York, Buenos Aires, and Rome, and in between these travels, Mosler has become a yellow cab driver herself. Her blog is certainly convincing of the belief that “no one knows a city better than a cabbie.”


Super Cabby – London cab drivers are known for their extensive knowledge of the city and ability to wow passengers with historical facts and figures. Super Cabby of London lives up to this expectation, mixing personal experiences with classic the London hack experience.  This blog even includes a podcast section, where individuals from the taxi, rideshare, or other related industries are interviewed and able to provide additional insight.


Taxi Tales– Taxi Tales, described as the tales of the life and times of a Northern U.K. taxi driver, includes a mixture of amusing and witty narratives of one driver while on the job. Bob Mullen chronicles his cabbie experiences and opinions, where he says “advice is given free with the cab ride whether you want it or not.” Readers are able to feel as though they are in the taxi, experiencing each ride through stories and pictures.


Real Seattle Taxi – Written by a thoughtful and opinionated cabbie in Seattle Washington, Real Seattle Taxi displays the thoughts of one driver on topics including the taxi industry, generous passengers and events in his home city.  This well-written blog provides not only insight into the life of a taxi driver, but a peek into the workings and struggles of the taxi industry.


London Cabbie – All In A Days Work is written by a seasoned London hack with over twenty-five years of experience.  This blog provides a very personal narrative of the life of a cab driver; his stories recounting the daily struggles, worries, and experiences make the reader feel as though they are having a conversation with an old friend.




Cab Chronicles – Charlottesville Taxi Blog, previously Cab Chronicles, is another refreshing blog with day-to-day stories and musings from one cab driver. After just a few posts, the reader is able to feel connected with the driver, sharing the emotions he experiences with each passenger and ride.

Top TFF Pinterest Pictures

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TaxiFareFinder has been collecting stunning photos of taxis, drivers, and the places they take people around the world for quite some time. This collection of images can be found on our Pinterest account with links to all of the original photos. Check out a few of our favorite photos below and start following us on Pinterest for more!

Did You Know…New York City Taxi Edition

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New York City is known for it’s iconic yellow cabs that dominate the city streets and every scenic view. Yellow taxis have become synonymous with the city and even define the nonstop hustle and bustle of the big apple. We’ve compiled notable facts, figures, and historical tidbits to celebrate the taxi-driven culture of New York City.

There are over 13,437 medallions, the right to run a yellow taxi, in New York City.

There are over 50,000 taxi drivers in New York City.

A typical driver shift is 9.5 hours.

The average number of rides per shift is 30.

The average number of miles driven in a shift is 180.

The average fare is about $6.

The average trip distance is 2.6 miles.

About 99% of all trips are less than 12 miles.

About 20% of all trips are less than 1 mile.

There are over 485,000 taxi trips made per day.

There are over 175 million taxi trips per year.

A typical taxi travels 70,000 miles per year.

Over 600,000 people ride in taxis everyday.

Over 236 million people ride in taxis every year.

The average age of a taxi vehicle is 3.3 years.

Average daily taxi usage is highest in the spring months.

Average daily taxi usage is lowest during the summer months.

Friday December 11, 2009 is the day with the most taxicabs trips between 2008 and 2013.

Taxi usage always dips significantly on major holidays.

About 90% of taxi pickups in New York City occur in Manhattan.

The average tip given to a taxi driver is 18%.

About 1% of taxi drivers in New York City are female.

Each yellow taxi goes through a rigorous inspection process 3 times per year.

Cabs have 18 different sensors, these are all reviewed during the inspection process.

Medallions can be as expensive as $1,200,000.

Over 2/3 of taxi passengers are 35 or under in age.

A cab gets its name from its predecessor, the horse-driven carriage called the cabriolet.

In 1967 all medallion taxicabs in New York City were painted yellow by order of the city.

In 1925 the first woman became a taxi driver in New York City.

There is presently a $200 penalty for taxicab drivers found using their cell phones while operating their vehicles.

TaxiFareFinder used the following resources to compile these taxicab facts and figures:

2014 Taxicab Fact Book & PBS Taxi Facts & Figures

Around the World in 15 Taxis

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Whether you’re halfway around the world or in your home country, getting a taxi seems like a pretty simple affair. Just walk to a rank, call up a reliable company, hail one on the street, or order a taxi and prepay through an app.

However, according to this infographic and article from The Taxi Centre, things are a little different elsewhere. Depending on where you are in the world, your simple taxi trip home could include a boat trip, short jaunt on a seaplane, or even a ride on an elephant.

To find out more info on taxi prices, etiquette, and tipping expectations, view the infographic below.













Ask the People: What’s Your Most Memorable Taxi Story?

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It is a huge thrill to step off a plane in a new destination, hop into a cab and start exploring fresh surroundings. Many times a taxi will bring us to worlds unknown, whether it be a drop off in the heart of a buzzing metropolis or a bumpy ride along a never ending dirt road. We often put total trust into these drivers to bring us to where we need to go.

Seasoned wanderers know that hailing a cab can be very different in various countries and may leave a lasting impression. A few pro travel writers and bloggers have shared some of their best on-the-road stories below from their blogs and personal accounts. They’ve roamed from South Africa, England, India and everywhere in between to gather their tales of transportation to share with TaxiFareFinder!

“Perhaps the most memorable cab ride I’ve ever enjoyed was one in NYC in a cab driven by a mellow guy with long hair–an ageing hippie like me and my husband–who was playing great music.  When we approved “Painted Black” followed by “Werewolves of London,” he asked if we wanted him to crank it up.  “Yes!!!,” we giddily replied, thinking we must have fallen into a time warp.  We were actually disappointed when we reached our destination, which came all too soon—we were cabbing just from the Lower East Side to Little Italy.”

Carole Terwilliger Meyers is a travel writer and blogger who also operates the website Berkeley And Beyond, centered on her home town city.

“My first real travel experience was a college trip to Egypt when I was 18 years old. Cairo was a vibrant and exciting place, and the best way to get around to explore it all was via taxi. Although the roads seem to be littered with taxis, the first one to answer our call had a sign on top which read, “Need for Speed”. That should’ve been the first indication that my classmates and I were in for a wild ride. As the driver wove in and out of traffic barely escaping all of the red lights at a speed that I felt was equal to that of the plane I had taken across the Atlantic to get there, I couldn’t help but admire his skill. We did actually make it to our Nile River cruise all in one piece. We made sure to check the signs on the taxis carefully for the remainder of the trip.”

Shauna Armitage is the Executive Editor for Pure Wander, a website that encourages families to get out and take their travels to a higher level.

“I don’t think I’ve been in a London Black Cab more than once – but that one time was memorable. I left my hostel in a rush to catch a train and forgot a lovely suede jacket which my father had bought for me. As we drove to the station, I told the driver about my mishap; he asked for my home address and told me he’d see what he could do. I traveled for a time, flew home to Montreal, and three months later, a package arrived by sea: that wonderful man had picked it up, wrapped it and shipped it. He never gave me his name, and I was never able to thank him. So, if you’re reading these lines and you know who you are… thank you, that meant a great deal to me!”

Leyla Giray Alyanak manages Women on the Road, a website to empower women who want to travel solo.

“[While traveling in South Africa along the Wild Coast] Two hours later we haven’t moved an inch, my mood is a little less buoyant and my bum is numb. What is going on? It slowly dawns on me that as privately run enterprises, economics dictate that a taxi has to be fully loaded before heading off. And when I say full, I mean bursting at the seams. With people, luggage and shopping of all shapes and sizes. I sorely regret my “clever” move of bagging the back seat as I gag for air, knees whacked up against the seat in front.”

Katrine Carstens is a travel writer. She blogs over at Susdane about being a Danish global citizen.

“The very first time I ever left the country with a passport, I lost it while in transit. Completely embarrassed, defeated and upset, I continued to navigate the streets of Seville, Spain, trying to find my host family. Eventually I crawled into a taxi, where the driver quickly said “Pobresita! (poor girl!)” and brought me to by destination with a smile and friendly conversation. He was so nice and tried to not charge me after he heard my story. I was so grateful for his kindness. That taxi driver was half the reason I didn’t turn around and buy a plane ticket home!”

Eileen Cotter is a travel writer and wannabe adventurer. She runs a blog called CrookedFlight, documenting her experiences as a seasoned, yet unorganized, traveler.

“The Pushkar Mela – tens of thousands of tourists interested in bohemia, culture, and photography congregate at this annual camel festival in Rajasthan, India every year. That year we were one of the hordes. As we checked into our hotel, we could hear raucous cries from the festival grounds. In the distance retro ferris wheels and dozens of camels adorned with bright trinkets lured us. We dumped our luggage in the room and started bargaining with the first taxi driver we met. We remember grinning when he settled on what seemed like a fair price at the time. 5 minutes into the taxi ride, we were surrounded with smoke. A dramatic halt later, our cab officially broke down. The next 30 minutes were spent waiting for our cab to be repaired, followed by scurrying around for another cab – to no avail. Then we spotted a vegetable vendor ferrying people to the festival grounds on his cart with the words ‘Rajoo Cab’ emblazoned across his cart. We won’t lie – we were skeptical. But we hopped on. A bumpy journey later, we were finally at the Pushkar Mela. Truly, a cab ride like no other. ”

Savi and Vid love offbeat travel and share their travel adventures and colorful fashion ideas on their blog Bruised Passports.