Taxis become a rare commodity when you need them most and the festive season is the worst for this phenomenon! Check out these cabbie secrets and be stranded no longer…
Taxi drivers spill their secrets to taxi booking app goCatch to help you get home safely this silly season – follow these tips and you’ll be nabbing a cab in no time!
1. DON’T LOOK INTOXICATED
Many drivers won’t take the chance on a drunk passenger as vomit incidents can ruin an entire shift. “I can size a passenger up in a second,” said one driver. “Normally on night shifts I will stop 100 metres in front of where the customer is standing and make them walk so I can see if they’re too drunk.”
2. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Don’t wait in the centre of the city. Try to flag a taxi as it is coming back to the CBD from a suburban drop off. For instance, the corner of Elizabeth Street and William Street outside the casino – flag them down as the taxis come off the Pacific Freeway.
3. AVOID TAXI RANKS
Some drivers said they wouldn’t go to a rank if they have enough work on the street, because there they are obligated to pick up the first customer – regardless of their level of intoxication or the length of the fare.
4. TIP THE DRIVER
At the busiest times of year the best way to guarantee a taxi (especially if you’re going shorter distances) is to offer the driver a $5 or $10 tip – it is Christmas after all!
5. GENDER BENDER
Several said they avoided female fares, as women were less likely than men to ask the driver to pull over before being sick – often because they were too shy or embarrassed (refer to point number one).
6. STAND ALONE
If many people are waiting in a group, try to stand somewhere on your own or in pairs. Stand further up the street from the group so that any taxis will reach you before them!
7. BOOK IN ADVANCE
During busy times, especially when it’s raining, try to book in advance – and always allow plenty of time to avoid disappointment or being late.
8. GOING THE DISTANCE
Drivers are spoiled for choice during the holiday season so will often preference long fares over short fares. If you’re only going a short distance, consider sharing a taxi with someone who’s going further out.
9. SUBURB STEREOTYPES
When deciding whether to pick up a passenger their current or destination suburb can be a factor. Fare evaders or “runners” are more common in rough areas.
“A dead giveaway that a passenger may run away without paying the fare is when they look at my face before entering – they are trying to see whether I’m an easy target,” said one driver. “Paying customers don’t care who the driver is, they open the door and get into the cab.”
10. SHARE WITH A STRANGER
Particularly if you are only going a short distance, joining with someone headed in the same direction on a longer fare could get you home faster if cabs are sparse.
BONUS TIP: BOOK BY APP
Often booking through this new technology gives you a higher priority than someone ringing through on a mobile, and you can also keep track of your cab’s progress as it makes its way to your address. Download the app in advance and you’ll never have to wait on hold again.
What are your tips for grabbing a cab? Share your taxi stories with us!