How to survive in the taxi industry

Jes 4 Comments

I feel fortunate to be able to go around and listen to people's stories. It makes the tiring travel worth while and less dreary.
Singapore leading taxi company (Source: Wikipedia)
After the most memorable taxi ride that I had, this taxi driver with 43 years of experience under his belt has something to share. He feels that many violent reports concerning new taxi drivers are shameful and would not have happened if everyone followed his 3 tips:

1) Cultivate a good temper
It's a maximum of an hour's worth of journey so the taxi driver should not judge or be overly eager to criticize the passenger's actions and life. Similarly, let the passenger berate you like this video and it's better not to shout back, it will just worsen things. Don't take things personally since you might never see each other again.
2) Money should not be your everything
He once drove a couple a full day from 9am to 12mn which amounts to more than $200. In the end they cheated his money as they went missing after saying that they will return with the cab fare. Money, fuel, time were wasted but he just moved on and treated it as a lesson. Over these 40 odd years, he has only encountered  around 10 cheaters who did not pay, including pregnant ladies but he did not mind the money.

Rather, he preferred honesty. If the passenger just told him upfront that they did not have the money, he would have treated it as charity case and went off after sending them. But the irksome part was waiting for 30 minutes before he realised that the cheaters were gone, which is a waste of precious time.  It's lucky he was able to move past the lost income and not take it too hard. His good temper has also helped to lessen the ill feelings towards these cheaters and towards his job.

He once had to ferry a pregnant lady that was almost going to give birth and he had to go fast yet carefully since the lady was in pain. That incident caused him to hyperventilate and created undue stress but he was glad to have made it safely.

3) Always give way on the roads
The reputation that taxi drivers got are quite infamous and he can understand why. Seeing how the new drivers are behaving on the roads, the belligerent driving has caused many accidents. He hoped that drivers will put safety first before money and everything else. One should not be rushing or venting your frustrations on the road and driving belligerently. Be more patient and....

Pretty please! (Source: Wikipedia)
Worse still, accidents may occur, which will cause bad temper (Point 1) and lost of money (Point 2). All these can actually be prevented. These 3 points are actually closely linked and necessary to enjoy driving a taxi for so many years.

For complaints, this kind uncle told me to call Comfort (Similarly for City Cab since Comfort bought them) if we passengers meet any rude drivers. For Comfort drivers, depending on severity, 1 to 3 warnings are sufficient to put the driver out of a job. However for all other taxi companies, complaining to their company's hotline is of no use. LTA would be a better option. He has a vulgar friend who likes to sprout obscenities to passengers but the company just warn him many times but never take action to punish him so he continued his crude manners.

Besides drivers, we as passengers also have to be polite and friendly to make the journey enjoyable. We should also be responsible to hail taxis at places that will not hinder traffic.

Everyone has a part to play in keeping the roads safe.


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  1. Taxi driver in Singapore are all very courteous, they always give way to all people.LOL

  2. Hi there!

    Yeah how I hope... perhaps only the limo taxis, haha.... ;) Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Patience is the virtue that taxi drivers should uphold given that they interact with different kinds of people every day. Add to that is the frustrations over traffic and other sorts of pet peeve anyone might encounter while on the road. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jess!

    Fredda Waugh @ Trenton Acura Taxi

    1. Hi Fredda,

      You know the emotions well but sometimes, a few customers are really ridiculous and it's kind of difficult for a nice driver like you to tolerate such nonsense huh? Hope you are doing well in the industry! Thanks for reading :)