Taxi companies are companies and entities that have to work with ethic and provide their services in a good and correct manner, and as many companies and entities in the world, they have rules to follow and to implement at the moment of doing their jobs. Most of the passengers do not know about these rules, but they exist for something. A taxi driver who follows these rules usually does an amazing job and provide a good service to the passenger. And it is something that the passenger will admire about it because rules make our society greater. They can vary, of course, depending on the country, city, region, in which the taxi drivers are providing their services; nevertheless, there are some important rules that are known in many countries of the world and have to be followed. In this article we are going to know some of the things that make a good taxi driver, and we will learn a little bit more about the things that a taxi driver can do wrong and can do as it is demanded to do, and we are going to compare with the taxi rules that are implemented in Paris, France, because it is where this investigation focuses. And it is that we, as common passengers who depend a lot on this service, need to have some knowledge about this field.
Taxi drivers are drivers at the end of the day, and as drivers they have to respect the laws and rules of traffic of the country, city or region in which they work. They must respect the signs, traffic lights and the lines of cars that can appear in the road while they do the service with a passenger or more inside the vehicle. If they are in a line of cars, they must wait for the line to move along, they must be patient with it and do not start freaking out and honking the horn of the vehicle in a desperate way to make others move faster (it can be annoying for the other drivers and it can make the passenger to feel uncomfortable). They must respect the traffic lights, because it is something important (worldly known) and it can cause car accidents. Traffic signs are another thing that taxi drivers must respect, as well as all car drivers in the world. They need to be respectful with passers-by and they have to give the pass when it is necessary. Some taxi drivers work with a quote on mind “the safety of the passenger is the important thing in a service” and this ensure a good service provided.
“I took a taxi once in Uruguay, in Montevideo, when I was there visiting some relatives, and he took me from the airport to my relative’s house. I can say that he was one of the best person I have met working as a taxi driver. He was very respectful and a warm person. I started the conversation asking about some good places to see in Montevideo and he answered with a nice and soft voice. And I just wanted to keep talking with him, I really felt comfortable, and also safe, because he was driving with a patience and a calm feeling. Not like the drivers in Colombia and Venezuela, I was in those countries once and many taxi drivers were always hurry, not everyone, though.” said an American woman when she was asked about the treatment of taxi ( geoallo taxi ) drivers around the countries she had visited.
Some taxis drivers tend to be a little bit talkative, they can talk so much about their life without stopping to breathe, and sometimes this can make the passengers to feel uncomfortable. And it is that one of the rules that are not usually known in this job is that, taxis drivers cannot start a conversation, no. They have to wait until the passenger starts talking, and if he or she does not do it, then they have to provide a silent service until they get to the passenger’s destination. If the passenger wants to talk and starts the conversation, then yes, the taxi driver has all the right to continue the conversation and give his point of view of every conversation topic that the passenger could bring up. It is recommended to talk with your taxi driver about economy, sports, movies or TV series, among others; although, it is not recommended to talk about a topic such as politics and religion, they can be difficult conversation topics and they could end up in discussion. Some people also talk with the taxi driver about personal problems and issues in their life, and as the possibility of seeing that same driver again is life is short, they tend to count every little detail, and they even ask for advises.
“I was advised for a taxi driver once, yeah. I had been in a party with my friends and I went out early. It was 1 a.m. when I saw a taxi and took it. The taxi driver was Indian, but he spoke English in a better good accent. I was feeling lonely and depressed at that moment, I didn’t know what to do with my life in those days. So, he saw me through thedriving mirror and he noticed that I was feeling bad, and he asked me if everything was okay, so I told him everything what was happening in my life in those days and I felt that I took out a heavy rock from my back. He just told me, while he kept driving, that I had to think on what I want, to create myself some expectations and make them become part of my reality and that everything will be okay, I just had to keep moving forward. When we arrived at my place I paid him and I thanked him so much for the words he said. Since that day, I have changed my life to be the best.” said an American woman when she was asked about a bad experience with a taxi driver who started the conversation.
Taxi drivers must be respectful with the passengers as well, they have use a professional language and express their ideas in a good manner. It could happen that some taxi drivers start saying bad words in a heavy traffic, even if the passenger or passengers are with him, this is something that gives an awful image to, not just the taxi driver, but to the company for which he works. The car must have a taximeter, and the driver must turn it on at the beginning of the service, when he starts driving to the passenger’s destination. It is well known that there are some taxi drivers that turn the taximeter on before the service without the passenger notices, in order to charge more money. Also, some of them manipulate the taximeter to work in a different way than the correct one, this makes that the passenger pay more for the service without knowing that the taximeter is tricked. Some countries do not have the system of having a taximeter in the vehicle. In France, there are some rules that every taxi driver must followed, they have a rigorous system when it comes about the taxi services in the cities. We are going to focus in Paris, the most visited city by tourists and the most populated by citizens from France and other countries of the world.
One of the rules is that taxi drivers have to charge the passengers according with the rates that the municipality implemented, they can vary for the hour when the passenger take the service, the day of the week, the specific place where the passenger wants to go and other supplements such as carrying luggage that weights more than 5 kilos, travelling with a pet (a dog, a cat, or another one), if the passengers who take the service are more than four, the waiting time of the taxi service, and if it is a service to the airport. However, these supplements can be changed in the future, or remain the same but with a different charge for the passengers. Another rule is that, taxi drivers must have a GPS device in their vehicles, it is a very important rule and it has to be followed. At the moment of the passengers gets inside the vehicle and gives the destination where he or she wants to go, the taxi driver must turn the GPS on (in case the passengers are tourist who does not know the city and how to arrive to the destination) and do the service while the passengers have the opportunity of watching in the GPS device where are they and in how much time they will arrive.
Taxi drivers also have illuminated triangles with the word “TAXI” in their cars, but this case happens when they are occupied by a passenger or more. When this is not the case, then they turn the triangle off and passengers around the city will know that the taxi can provide taxi services. This is something helpful, mostly at nights, when people require a taxi service because they want to get to their homes as soon as possible, and if they see a taxi with the non-illuminated triangle, then the passengers will know that the taxi is available to provide services. Regarding with the documentation, taxi drivers must have their driver license and each document necessary to provide services. In so many countries, some taxi drivers do not have these requirements, or they have them but not at the moment of working, this can be really problematic in Paris, where drivers need to have all these documents in order to work. Also, taxi companies and entities make taxi drivers to do some tests and prepare them before starting to provide the services. So, passengers must check this every time that they get into a taxi.
“It was no here in Paris, but it was in Spain, in Barcelona, where I took a taxi and he didn’t have his license or his documents. It was night and he was going at 100 km/h in a road of 80 km/h. So, eventually, the police stopped us, and when they found out that he didn’t have his license and he was providing services like that, the real issue started. I was quiet when the police men were talking with the taxi driver, and I didn’t know what to do. At the end, I had to call a friend to take me out of that place. From that moment, I always check if the taxi driver has his license.” said a Parisian man after being asked if he had problems with a taxi driver without license or documents. Taxi drivers have to take in consideration their passenger’s opinion, because sometimes the passenger could have right about some direction or better way to get to the destination. Taxi drivers must be secure with their opinion, but they also have to take on mind the opinion of the passenger or passengers. It is not necessary to give a tip to the taxi drivers, with the rate of the service that they give to the passenger is enough to pay. Although, a “thank you” is necessary after a good service given, or a “merci”, in this case.
Taxi drivers must follow each of these rules, because it is part of the system, and when they agree to work as taxi drivers they agree to all these laws, rules, and considerations. Maybe, in some other countries, the system is not so rigorous and strict, but this can have bad repercussions for the passengers: drivers can be irresponsible and disrespectful, they can charge whatever they want (expensive amounts even if the place is near), they can provide services without any kind of document (driver license, car’s papers), and make that the passengers feel uncomfortable, among other issues. That is why taxi drivers must follow the rules that are implemented in the code of its company or entity, to give a good service to the passenger.