10 Taxi Driver Rules Most Passengers Don’t Know About

Newly emerging mobile applications make ordering a taxi an easier and cheaper option than buying your own car.

In light of that, Bright Side researched various rules that taxi drivers follow, relevant for every passenger in order to avoid tricky situations that might arise on your drive.

10. A traffic light is your friend, but a traffic jam is your best friend.

Many taxi companies use the motto "We value the passenger's safety over the driver's speed." However, many dishonest taxi drivers misinterpret this rule in an attempt to earn extra cash. "Take the longest route. Remember that the traffic light is your friend, but the traffic jam is your best friend." This is why it is better for you to give exact directions and the route of your choosing to your driver.

9. The driver is not allowed to start a conversation with you.

An unwritten rule says that the driver is not supposed to initiate a conversation with you. Only if you start talking yourself is it appropriate for them to reply. But if the passenger feels uncomfortable listening to a monologue about the driver's personal life, they are in the right to delicately refuse to reply.

All in all, most people actually enjoy talking to taxi drivers, especially about the local area, advice on places to visit, and the driver's job. It also turns out that the weather, politics, and religion are not the best conversation topics to dive into.

8. Drivers are fired for bad ratings.

4.6 out of 5 is practically the perfect score. It is perfect everywhere, except in mobile taxi applications. A driver with a rating lower than 4.7 is banned. Therefore, before giving your driver a bad rating, take a second and ask yourself whether they really deserved it. Do not underestimate online ratings: someone's job is always on the line.

7. You are being rated too.

Perhaps it does not come as a surprise, but Uber passengers are rated too. You can learn your rating in your settings or by asking the driver. If you are an especially difficult client and suddenly feel a wave of shame and embarrassment, do not worry: this rating does not matter all that much, except that some picky drivers (there are barely any) may refuse service to you later.

6. The driver does not know your final destination address.

Online applications request your final destination address details, but the driver only learns this information once they arrive at your meeting point. There was a case in the US where a man ordered an Uber to get to another state (the ride was about 6 hours and $583). Therefore, if your driver is not happy with your final destination, don't be surprised. Let them know in advance if your route is unusual.

5. Your phone number is kept in confidentiality.

Despite the fact that mobile application taxi drivers are able to contact you anytime, they do not actually have your phone number. All contact occurs through the app system.

4. Minimal distances are a norm.

Ever gotten somewhere for $3? It seems like the taxi driver's profits diminish with such short distances, but modern companies actually have certain minimum fares paid to the driver per ride. Your ride may cost $3, but the driver receives $6. There is a catch: the driver may give their client a low rating if they consider the ride a walking distance.

3. Passengers are paxes.

Pax (comes from "persons approximately") is an international abbreviation for a passenger in an aerial vehicle. It is jargon used by pilots and — surprise! — by taxi drivers. So, turns out, they talk about paxes, not passengers.

2. It's not the driver, it's the system.

One tricky thing about taxi applications is that the system manipulates its workers. For instance, when you exit the app, a notification pops up: "You are $15 short of reaching $300. Are you sure you want to quit?" Such messages exploit human behavior and were designed to make them work as much as possible to reach a vague goal.

Another feature of the system is that managers often sign off using female names, and send rather informal messages to the drivers, such as "Hey, there's a game here that's gonna end soon. You coming?" It appears that some men have an unconscious tendency never to refuse a woman's request.

1. Taxi drivers may start the meter earlier.

Some drivers trick passengers by starting the meter at the exact moment they arrive to pick them up (which is against the rules) and only then call the client. In this case, you also pay for the waiting time, which, in theory, is not supposed to be covered for the first 10 minutes.

Therefore, you should be at your taxi on time: out of politeness and out of sparing your and your driver's time. Enjoy your ride!

Preview photo credit ARP Sélection
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