Taxi etiquette

I’ve had a couple of problems with taxi drivers lately. Fortunately, there is one I run into regularly who is great. If he’s stuck in the middle of the queue, can I just go straight to his and pick him, or is that going to piss off all the other drivers?

why not get his phone number?

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My wife does it all the time. Other drivers can’t do anything.

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What about uber? Cars are almost always nice.

yes

It will piss off the others, but you can mitigate this problem by carrying a few extra bags of binglang and offering them to all the other drivers.

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I do that sometimes when I know the first guy is the stinky taxi. The driver will apologize to the other guy I’ve heard.

Its bad, but fckem. If the guy is worried, he will tell you to go to the front…let them start to up their game a bit, taxi drivers have been entitled too long here. Uber did a real good job at gettingthem to wake up and smell reality…customers ought to as well. Would you order from mcdonalds if the person was a bitch, smoking and chewing betel nut?

Customers are always right. Just dont be entitled yourself, and you have full rights choosing a taxi you like.

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A more passive-aggressive approach my wife adopts: linger in the background until the first few taxis in the queue are taken, and then dart forward when the one she wants is at the front.

But as @TT has suggested, getting the driver’s phone number is probably also a good approach. Avoid the whole hassle, and get a cab that is presumably cleaner and also feels safer.

For what it’s worth my wife likes to use the different taxi apps, because the drivers through those tend to be more reliable than random queues at MRT stations.

I don’t particularly recommend what I do. The driving level of an average taxi driver here scares me enough that I just walk or use a YouBike almost everywhere.

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Do taxi drivers in Taiwan take foreigners for a ride? It happened to me twice in USA when I was young, both from India.

I’ve never encountered it; it comes up once in a while in this forum, but it seems vanishingly rare compared to many other countries.

Taxis that wind up inadvertently (?) overcharging you because they don’t really know where they’re going, and take odd routes, yeah, that happens more often. Note these events may often be due to my bad Chinese - or perhaps an overly small font on my phone, one too small to be read by the driver. Or, for that matter, maybe they do know the routes, and what seems like a bizarre route to this non-driver-in-Taipei actually does make sense.

City layouts in Taiwan are sometimes totally weird, even taxi drivers get it wrong. Sometimes you get a driver that doesn’t know were to go.

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Won’t that depend on what you’re wearing ?

I’ve found taxis to be much worse than Uber here:

  • I often get a stinky smoke-odor-filled taxi which I immediately get out of due to my allergies.
  • Taxi drivers generally seem to be much more aggressive drivers from my experience. Some people fail to understand that the accelerator pedal is not binary input and press really hard at it. Uber drivers are less adventurous because they usually own the vehicle they drive.
  • I’ve been in old, poorly maintained taxis where the whole vehicle vibrates like crazy when it’s still. Not a pleasant experience.

Uber tends to be approximately the same price from my experience and the vehicles are MUCH better. I’ve gotten a Tesla a few times as well…

I disagree. Unofficial Ubers that have meters. They’re a bit scam I feel. Even when I use the taxi app they show up. I feel much better knowing they work for a certain company

I don’t on guilt trips anymore. I only take taxis I feel comfortable taking. I’ve been cheated or subjected to obnoxious behavior by too many taxi drivers at this point to care any longer.

Here’s some solutions.

  1. Get the taxi driver’s number. If he’s busy when you need a lift, they’re most likely part of a group of drivers and will suggest a colleague.

  2. Use taxi apps. Apps like Uber and FindTaxi are all very good apps where you can filter your preferences. If you find a driver you like, ask for their card, they are more than happy to have a long term customer on a daily or weekly basis.

A few of my friends would use Uber exclusively to get to work everyday and since they lived in more remote areas, the same driver would pick them up 2-3 times a week. My friend later asked for his card which included his phone number and LINE and he’d just hit him up via phone to have him pick him up everyday to go to the office.

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I asked a few drivers. They all said the same thing…
Taxi drivers have to wait in line and let those ahead go first. Passengers don’t. You are the customer, of course you get to pick which cab you want. A couple drivers even said they hope more people would be picky as it rewards decent drivers and eliminates bad drivers / filthy cars.

Also, the big taxi companies require cars to be no older than 5 years and in good, presentable shape.

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I have, that was the first problem. He intentionally slowed down for the entire trip, then skipped the terminal and drove me to the airport hotel, pretending he had misunderstood. I missed my flight. I was so frantic running to the counter hoping I could still make it that I didn’t get his plate number or name, so I had no way to complain afterward.

Thank you, I’ll just take “my guy” every time I see him from now on.

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