Worldwide Taxi Comparison.
The first person you spend vital time with in most countries is the taxi driver. He is the single most important Ambassador to any country. On each trip to these cities I have used taxis on more than a dozen occasions. I have given you a comparison of taxi drivers in London, Istanbul, Lisbon, New York and South Africa in my ranked order from best to worst.
Each driver writes an exam and knows each destination by name (virtually), Phenomenal. If God forbid he doesn’t know, which is very unlikely he sorts it out immediately. The fares are metered and not cheap but worth every cent. In most instances the drivers are courteous and helpful. Most tourist orientated questions will be answered sensibly by virtually all drivers. They are not scared to check GPS, mostly. The taxis are clean and comfortable. They are my clear winner.
These guys actually make an effort to stop. They don’t speak much English but sign language and map pointing works. The taxis are clean and most drivers are respectful. Only a few chops tried there luck with the meter. Good value and I recommend this bunch.
Lisbon taxi drivers are hit and miss. The younger drivers seem to understand English a lot more than the older drivers who tend to be grumpy. Tourism is vital to Portugal so you would think the taxi drivers would know a few English words. There are plenty of taxis so you don’t wait long which is awesome. Most drivers do not bother to assist with GPS but I suppose as is their prerogative they don’t have to understand you. Overall, I don’t hesitate to call a taxi in Lisbon but I don’t expect any assistance.
What a shame. So many taxis with so many lazy drivers. A lot of them don’t even have GPS units and most of the cars are old and sub standard. If you don’t have an exact address they are hesitant to even take you. They are expensive and sometimes too busy or lazy or something to stop. I even had a yellow cab where the seatbelt did not function. They are complacent and seeking sheltered employment without growing with the times. Virtually all the drivers were immigrants and not native Americans so clearly have less knowledge of the greater City. Uber has a point.
Out of all, South African drivers are the most friendly because they want a tip. They try to be helpful but most do not use a GPS. They also cannot give much advice and don’t know areas around the City. Some taxis are metered but be careful. The standard of taxis ranges and is not regulated. Use Uber.
To be a taxi driver should be an honor and should require education aimed at assisting passengers of all kinds from all over the world. It’s a profession that needs to be mastered by all drivers taking part. Especially from International airports. Yes the pay should be commensurate with the requirement.
There is little doubt that the complacency amongst taxi drivers worldwide for so many years has created the opportunity for companies such as Uber to thrive. I want shares