It's an honest profession that no one should belittle or look down upon. Here's some tips and gentle reminders on the art of riding cabs!
You might not mind them much when you’re busy in transit but if you think about it, our taxi drivers lead hard but interesting lives! It’s only proper then, to acknowledge their service and the hard work that they’re doing in making our lives easier, one kilometer at a time. While we occassionally get that cab ride from hell, its more of the exception rather than the rule.
So in line with our Lomography x DesignTAXI: Find + Shoot a Taxi! competition, we’re outlining the tips, do’s, and don’ts in riding a cab! Here are some of them:
- Get in Line – Don’t be that guy that steals a cab from someone who’s clearly been waiting way before you. If you’re really in a hurry and you need to get somewhere urgently, have the common decency to ask permission if you may go first.
- Your Discretion for Directions – If there are two or a dozen ways to get where you want to go, the cabbie is obliged to take your preferred route. He’s free to object and reason out why another route may be better, but you may decline.
- Be Patient – If you’re stuck in rush-hour traffic, don’t say ’can’t you go any faster?’ Having a tantrum in the backseat and bursting an artery screaming won’t make the bumper to bumper ride any more pleasant for the both of you. Unless you’re the Moses of cars and part the traffic aside, there’s really nothing you can do.
- More isn’t Merrier – If your entourage totals five or more people, don’t be surprised if taxis don’t take all of you. The cab isn’t a clown car and more importantly, it is illegal. Don’t be cheap and just take two or more taxis instead.
- Be Polite – Don’t act like you’re a sultan and they’re one of your slaves. They’re human too, just in case you forgot. Be courteous and thank them if they helped with your bags, or assisted you in getting in or out of the car. If they strike a conversation, indulge them. You’d be surprised on how colorful their stories are. If you’re not in a talking mood, just tell them politely that you’d rather not talk. Acknowledge instead of just ignoring.
- Music – If the music isn’t to your liking or it’s too loud, you can ask the driver to turn it down a notch but not completely off. Why? Consider it as his place of business and his establishment. If he likes that music while operating, then so be it. You can ask though, just don’t get disappointed if he declines.
- PDA or public display of affection – Please forego your exhibitionist tendencies until you get to your stop. While it looks fun and sexy in the movies, reality is a different matter altogether. First, you don’t know how clean the cab is and what might be crawling into your undergarments so I’d suggest keeping them on. Secondly, your driver might crash while he’s watching you from the rear-view mirror.
- Tipping – Tipping values vary from state to state and from country to country but one thing is for sure – you need to leave one! Driving a taxi is not the most glamorous of jobs and the drivers aren’t exactly rolling in the dough, so if they did a satisfactory job, give them the tip, which is usually 10%-20% of the fare. If he was rude, had snide comments, or endangered your life, no tip necessary.
- Write Down the Details – Writing or texting the plate number, driver’s name and license helps you out in many ways. One, it gives you some semblance of safety should shenanigans ensue. Two, it makes it easier to complain to the cab company or authorities if something should happen. Three, if you lose one of your baggage, you’d know who to call. And no, saying that the cab is yellow won’t work.
Got your own rules in riding a taxi? Share them in the comments!