When I arrive in a new city for the first time, I find it most comfortable to travel around in a taxi cab. It also happens to be convenient when you are in a hurry or have huge luggage. And, most of us have frequently used one for our travels in the city both at home and abroad.
There are some things you can do and some you don’t to make your taxi ride a pleasant one. Now, these things, we call ‘Taxi Etiquette’, are your guidelines for proper conduct in a taxi. They are not even the grandest of gestures but just simple ones to ensure a great travel experience. So, what are they? Let’s find out.
1. Taxi Etiquette 101
Treat your cabby as a human being, as your equal!
2. Don’t steal
Don’t get into a taxi hailed by someone else. Likewise, when you hail a taxi and another taxi cuts its place to give you a ride, don’t go for it. Get into the taxi which you actually intended to ride in at the first place.
3. Put your seat belt on
One of the taxi etiquettes you would have to follow is simply putting your seat belt on while on the ride. This simple gesture, like we know, is a safety measure.
4. Don’t exceed the taxi’s passenger limit
Even if you are sharing the ride with friends or colleagues, don’t cram in extras along the way. The number of passengers allowed in a taxi is determined by the number of seat belts available, one for each. This is also a safety measure, and it helps ensure a comfortable ride for you. So, do not ask your driver to take on more passengers.
If there are more of you guys traveling together, then it is better to get two cabs or more as needed, instead of sharing a very uncomfortable ride. No matter how close you are with your fellow passengers, being crammed in the backseat is definitely not a fun way to travel.
5. Tell your cabby the route you wish to take
Most of the times your taxi driver will take the direct route to your destination, there aren’t many who would literally take you for a ride. But if you still want to take this specific route, then, tell him/her at the beginning of the ride. He/she will gladly drive through that particular route. And, if he/she seems hesitant to comply, politely give your reasons for asking to use the route. He/she will then follow your command.
6. Inform him/her when you are near your drop off location & not at the last second
Trust me, when I say you don’t want to be jerked around in a cab. So not good for the body! You yelling ‘Stop’ & your cabby stopping the cab out of nowhere. That is not a good way to get off the cab. These are situations when you may get small injuries, from being suddenly bumped around in the cab. So, tell your cabby on time, where you want to get off exactly. He/she will then slowly and safely maneuver the cab at your drop point.
7. Don’t want to chat, be polite about it
If you are not in a mood for a talk with the lively cabby, you can simply give a polite Yes or No answer to all his questions, or attempts to engage you in a conversation. He/she will get the hint that you don’t feel like talking at the moment, and will leave you in peace.
This also works the other way around. If your taxi driver doesn’t want to talk, and/or don’t want to be disturbed while he is driving. He may state that clearly and politely, or give you shuttle hints. Take note and respect his wish. And, if you still have that urge to talk to someone, just call up a friend to have a chat.
8. Do not eat and/or drink anything inside the cab
Who else has either dropped their food or spilled their drinks, or both, inside a cab? Sadly, I have, and the look on my cabby’s face made me feel really sorry for him, who would have to clean it. And ever since, I haven’t eaten or drunk anything inside a cab, no matter how hungry I get.
So, like me, there are chances that you may also drop your food or spill your drink. For one, it makes the cab dirty and second, the stain creates a negative image on the passengers that are to follow. Plus, it’s damn hard and costly to remove those stubborn stains, be it from coffee, cola or wine. Give the poor chap a break.
And, we haven’t even talked about the smell, oh the smell! No matter how delicious your hotdog may be, it leaves a pungent kind of smell that the poor cabby or the passenger to follow has to deal with. I hope these reasons are enough to deter you from eating and/or drinking on a taxi ride.
9. Take your trash with you
Another taxi etiquette you can easily follow is not to create too much trash in the first place. But if you do, have the decency to clean it before you leave the taxi. It doesn’t feel good to sit in a cab with filthy looking interior, with food crumbs, wrappers and stains all over the seat and the floor. Have mercy on the next person that will get into the cab, and leave it clean and trash free.
10. Turn the music down
If you are finding it difficult to hear the person on your cell, because of loud music being played inside the cab, ask the cabby to keep it down nicely. No yelling or shouting at him rudely! He/she will act as per your request, and you can travel and talk in peace without much disturbance.
11. No requests for going faster or over the speed limit
It seems like everyone’s in a hurry these days. So, if you find yourself among them, trapped in a rush hour, do not ask your cab driver to go any faster than he/she already is. It is illegal to do so and dangerous too.
Also, don’t ask him/her to run red lights, or go over the legal speed limit to reach your destination faster. It’s not a wise decision, don’t do it.
12. Stuck in traffic? Do not blame your taxi driver
Construction works, accidents and traffic are things we have to deal with from time to time. Being frustrated and angry will do you no good. And, it would be of no good at all to yell or direct your not so charming behavior at your taxi driver. It’s not his fault and it’s not your fault. So, chill out.
13. No PDAs
Public display of affection with your partner in a cab is a big NO NO. The reason is simple. It distracts your taxi driver from what’s going on in the front. And instead, his/her focus shifts to what’s going in the back. Another thing, it is equally disrespectful. A taxi for its driver is his/her workspace. Respect this fact and act accordingly.
One more, it is a regular thing to have daily conversations in a taxi. But it’s a completely different thing to hang your dirty laundry in public. So, be mindful as not to distract the cabby with your loud and disruptive arguments, with your fellow passenger whoever that might be.
14. Tip your cabby
You should tip your cabby like you usually tip in the restaurants. You can leave a 10% tip for the service. But if he/she opens the door for you, helps you out with your luggage and sometimes even helps you find the exact location written on the piece of paper, well then, be generous!
Got some taxi cab etiquette of your own to share? Tell us in the comments. We would love to hear them.
Now that you know more about the etiquette to be followed in a taxi ride, have a pleasant travel!