The Taxi Thread

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Re: The Taxi Thread

Postby achdizzy1099 » 24 May 2012, 00:54

I don't think you can post criticism about taxis in Taipei/Taiwan unless you state your credentials first.

A) What city did you live in where you relied on taxis regularly?

B)Were you truly 'in' the city, or just a distant suburb?

C) How long did you live in this place / how long ago?

now: [your opinion]

Me:

A) San Francisco

B) Right in the middle baby

C) 4 years / left 3 years ago

now: Taipei has an amazing taxi experience. simply amazing. From the low cost to the availibility to their patience with my shitty chinese and having to show them a map on my smartphone. It is a delight, and I would love (I mean love!) to find someone who can point me to a better experience on this earth.


------------Some Fares around the West-----------------------------------------

Vancouver:
First 1/13 km: $3.20 USD
Per Kilometer: 1.85

San Francisco:
First 1/3rd km : $3.10 USD
Each additional km : $1.40
Each minute of waiting or traffic delay: $0.45

London
Start : $2.76USD
per km : $4.40 USD

Taipei:
first 1.5 km : $2:40 USD
per km: $ 0.57 USD


**and don't forget the 20% tip they expect back west!!***
T
Some people have a big mouth.....

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Re: The Taxi Thread

Postby Super Hans » 24 May 2012, 02:38

From a service point of view as a customer, you can't fault taxi drivers in Taiwan.
From the view of another road user, they are an absolute menace, which is why I would rather walk than take one.
From the point of view of knowing where they are going - well, not all of them are up to speed and many of them have to be told how to get to their destinations.

For me, I can't stand them if I am on a motorcycle. However, if I happen to have to take one to get back from somewhere due to slightly impaired synapses, then they are an absolute godsend. Certainly from a customer point of view, they are an amazing commodity.
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The Taxi Thread

Postby headhonchoII » 24 May 2012, 08:20

Just travel around China and take taxis there, you will be SO happy to get a Taiwan taxi after that. From the decor, smell, sanitation, security, attitude, professionalism and rapid service, you will be a happy man or woman. There taxis are usually driven into the ground and everything is covered in grime.Twice recently I got out with mud on my shoes and suit. I have had women drivers hocking loogers out the windows while complaining. Did I mention the constant moaning and complaining?
Then there is the wee fact they don't actually know where to go unless you show them, often with an actual map as they are either out of towners, illiterates or bonking mad. China is the only place I have been berated multiple times for NOT knowing where my destination is beyond the address, the cheek of me! Now imagine if I didn't even speak Chinese?

Or come back from Japan where my colleague recently spent 300 USD on a taxi to Narita airport from Tokyo city centre. Or how about the double charge I had to pay (called midnight charge after 10pm) when arriving in Haneds airport to go to the hotel 15 mins away, the bill, 900 NTD.
Of course for that in Japan you get old crusty drivers who don't speak a word of English and never smile, still they have those great old massive Nissans/Toyotas that are super smooth on the road.

Taiwans taxis have also been updated a lot recently, you get out at the train stations, airport or HSR and you will usually get into a new roomy Toyota prius or Wish.
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Re: The Taxi Thread

Postby citizen k » 24 May 2012, 10:20

Rule number one about taxis here: You do not have to take the first one that comes along. Taxis are so plentiful in the cities that, when A-Bei drives up in his broke-down twenty-year old Sunny with no suspension, I just wave him on and wait for a shiny, new Wish with the pretty flowers in it. Those guys are always on their game, will ask you which route you prefer and generally be very professional about the service they offer. :thumbsup:

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Re: The Taxi Thread

Postby grandfeller » 24 May 2012, 10:40

headhonchoII wrote:Just travel around China and take taxis there, you will be SO happy to get a Taiwan taxi after that. From the decor, smell, sanitation, security, attitude, professionalism and rapid service, you will be a happy man or woman. There taxis are usually driven into the ground and everything is covered in grime.Twice recently I got out with mud on my shoes and suit. I have had women drivers hocking loogers out the windows while complaining. Did I mention the constant moaning and complaining?
Then there is the wee fact they don't actually know where to go unless you show them, often with an actual map as they are either out of towners, illiterates or bonking mad. China is the only place I have been berated multiple times for NOT knowing where my destination is beyond the address, the cheek of me! Now imagine if I didn't even speak Chinese?

Or come back from Japan where my colleague recently spent 300 USD on a taxi to Narita airport from Tokyo city centre. Or how about the double charge I had to pay (called midnight charge after 10pm) when arriving in Haneds airport to go to the hotel 15 mins away, the bill, 900 NTD.
Of course for that in Japan you get old crusty drivers who don't speak a word of English and never smile, still they have those great old massive Nissans/Toyotas that are super smooth on the road.

Taiwans taxis have also been updated a lot recently, you get out at the train stations, airport or HSR and you will usually get into a new roomy Toyota prius or Wish.


I'd be interested to know when and where? When I was in Shanghai in 2006, taxi service seemed great, about like in Taiwan. Never been to Beijing, though.
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Re: The Taxi Thread

Postby headhonchoII » 24 May 2012, 16:13

Beijing, Changchun, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Nanjing, Chongqing, all over really and recently too...Guilin was good though because the driver gave me some Guilin mandarins..and they were very tasty indeed! Then again Gulin is not your typical city in China.
It's not that the mainlanders are a bad sort, but China is still a developing country and many of the drivers are poor or coming in from the countryside, so they cut corners and their manners and abilities have something left to be desired.
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Re: The Taxi Thread

Postby Incubus » 21 Jun 2012, 11:14

Every once in a while I get a cab that can take the yoyo card (easy card). I've never taken advantage of it as half the time I don't have enough credit on my card, and the rest of the time I'm just a bit leery, thinking that it might delete all the credit on my card. How does it work? Do I get a receipt after the transaction? Those of you who've done it please tell.
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Re: The Taxi Thread

Postby AmoyMama » 21 Jun 2012, 20:37

headhonchoII wrote:Just travel around China and take taxis there, you will be SO happy to get a Taiwan taxi after that. From the decor, smell, sanitation, security, attitude, professionalism and rapid service, you will be a happy man or woman. There taxis are usually driven into the ground and everything is covered in grime.Twice recently I got out with mud on my shoes and suit. I have had women drivers hocking loogers out the windows while complaining. Did I mention the constant moaning and complaining?
Then there is the wee fact they don't actually know where to go unless you show them, often with an actual map as they are either out of towners, illiterates or bonking mad. China is the only place I have been berated multiple times for NOT knowing where my destination is beyond the address, the cheek of me! Now imagine if I didn't even speak Chinese?


Totally agree. I had forgotten just how bad Chinese taxis are until I went back last year for a visit. :eek: If anything, the cleanliness, safety, and general odor of taxis there had declined since my last visit. The surliness of the taxi drivers we encountered was truly something to behold. Often, about halfway through a ride, they would absolutely refuse to travel the rest of the way to our destination because it wasn't "convenient" for them, instead dropping us far away from our destination because they needed to get home for dinner, or meet someone, or run an errand, etc. All of the taxis changed shift at the exact same time every day, and from 5-6 pm it was completely impossible to get a taxi to take you anywhere. Many refused to pick up a Westerner for various reasons. And you absolutely must carry a map and have explicit directions for the taxi driver if you have any hope of getting from A to B. Adding to the confusion is the fact that lot of taxi drivers are migrants who speak hard-to-understand Mandarin.

Yeah. Taxis in Taipei (can't speak to the rest of the island) are an absolute DREAM. Take them all the time and have only once been "taken for a ride." My experience is usually exactly the opposite--I have no idea how many times a taxi driver has gone out of his/her way to be helpful or has rounded down the fare here.
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Re: The Taxi Thread

Postby Exister » 21 Jun 2012, 21:42

I've mostly had good experiences in Taipei. But one time, it was about 5 in the morning, I got into a super old taxi and the driver looked about 85 years old at least. I told him where I wanted to go, he told me he knew how to get there (I was still new then and not really familiar with how to get anywhere). We drove around for what seemed like forever, he was slowing down at all the intersections and looking around, he even rolled his window down and started asking a bunch of old people at a park where he was. I finally just gave up and told him he could just let me off. I paid him and wasn't rude or anything, he was really old and I just kind of felt sorry for him, ha. I took the next cab that came along and he got me where I needed to go in like 5 minutes.
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Re: The Taxi Thread

Postby finley » 21 Jun 2012, 23:13

Incubus wrote:Every once in a while I get a cab that can take the yoyo card (easy card). I've never taken advantage of it as half the time I don't have enough credit on my card, and the rest of the time I'm just a bit leery, thinking that it might delete all the credit on my card. How does it work? Do I get a receipt after the transaction? Those of you who've done it please tell.


Yeah, it works, although some taxi drivers seem like they can't be bothered to actually use it - it's just for show. They have to fiddle about typing numbers into the "other half" of the system (a keypad near the driver's seat), which is apparently more trouble than it's worth.

I think I've used it maybe ... twice. I do vaguely remember getting a small discount for using it once.

Don't worry, it's not going to wipe your card (they're all legit). Smartcard transactions are done over a secure link which makes it pretty much impossible to corrupt the card data. If the card receives a duff command, it just doesn't get processed.

Chinese taxis - this about sums it up:
Then there is the wee fact they don't actually know where to go unless you show them, often with an actual map as they are either out of towners, illiterates or bonking mad.

On one occasion the taxi driver insisted he knew where he was going - it was supposed to be only 5 minutes away, so he should have done. Ten minutes later, we suggested maybe he'd like to look at our tourist map. No, he didn't. After five more minutes bumbling, S.O. blew her stack (which she's pretty good at) and told him to just look at the f-ing map. He did. We got where we were going, which turned out to be just round the corner.

Another one drove like an absolute bloody lunatic (in the pouring rain, with malfunctioning wipers) and then had the brass neck to ask for a tip. When we asked him why, he pointed at me and said "because he's a foreigner". I gave him a RMB1 note (~ 0.1 euro). Wanker.

I think Taxis and toilets are the two things that allow you to reliably gauge where a country is on the evolutionary scale. China is still shambling around with Pithecanthropus.
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