View Full Version : World's worst taxi drivers

Bob Upndown
3rd Dec 2004, 05:15
Rant mode selected/

What the heck is it with the taxi drivers in Sydney? Here I am working in undoubtably one of the best cities in the world (OK, THE best for all you D&G chaps and chappesses:ok: ) and I find myself amazed at the attitude and unprofessionalism of the city's taxi drivers.

I have yet to find one who knows Sydney well enough to get to Macquarie Place (office location) from the airport without directions. More than once, when heading somewhere for the first time and the driver has sussed I'm not local, I've been dropped well away from the destination.

The drivers English language is generally poor, some even have a lot of trouble writing the receipts. They're generally incredibly rude and arrogant, demanding directions in broken English whilst riding up the ar$e of the car in front, pumping the accelerator and brake alternately. I was told by an airport employee that fights over fares regularly occur at the international terminal rank between drivers. BO, loud radios, shouting at other drivers, I could go on........

Sorry, but the worst 'mini-cab' service in London ranks better than a supposedly regulated service in SYD.

The question that comes to mind is: Why is it the Sydney city authorities allow this level of service to continue? I'm sure many visitors to this wonderful place would find their impression dulled by this taxi 'Mafia' and their practices.

I know there are worse taxi operators in other locations (NEVER get into a cab in LOS!), but given the status of Sydney as a world-class city, it's amazing that a central service such as this is allowed to run in this way.:confused: :confused:

Rant mode deselect/

Love the place, don't want to go home!

Off to Establishment for Friday Frolics....:)


3rd Dec 2004, 06:02
Had a taxi ride from Mascot domestic terminal to Kirrawee which frightened me. Driver looked like Taliban refugee direct from Kabul, spoke no English at all except for gutteral grunt, changed lanes and then indicated after he had changed, made random stabs at accellerator and brake, and every time he came to a stop at traffic lights he wound down his window and engaged in a harangue with the driver of the vehicle immediately to his right. I had no idea what language he was using, although it was punctuated at regular intervals with violent gesticulations, the meaning of which was implicit.

His identity card was the usual cryptic alpha-numeric combination designed to me totally un-memorisable so you can't make a complaint. I was so relieved to arrive at my destination intact and without being involved in several accidents I just paid the chappie and sloped off at a rapid rate.

I read in a newspaper a few days later the authorities had collared several of these chappies and deported them. I just hope this individual was one of them.

If ever you get a Sydney taxi-driver who is white anglo-saxon protestant and fluent in English without a heavy foreigh accent, bail out of the taxi immediately. Whatever else he is, he most certainly isn't a genuine Sydney taxi-driver!

3rd Dec 2004, 06:25
Well said. The throttle/brake ballet is something I've thought about a lot. Sometimes it doesn't involve the brake, just constant pumping of the throttle. They call it a throttle because that's what you want to do to the driver. After a while, conditioning makes you want to do that to everyone you see who resembles this breed of cabbie.

I do this with my friends in the car when I want to irritate them. It always works which demonstrates that civilised people can only be pushed so far.

Anyway I decided this pedal-pumping is a nervous reaction to their instinctive distrust of white man's magic contraption:

Keep pumping gas-pedal, car keep going.
Stop pumping gas-pedal, car stop.

Notice they don't know how to use the cruise control???

ALL the cabbies from a certain very large continent seem to do it. Coincidentally this s not the continent where the horseless-carriage or any other developments other than the Mass DVD Piracy Copying Machine were invented.

Thanks to the do-gooders, he probably WAS a Taliban refo, who was busted out of the detention centre by hair-head do-gooders. Good to hear there are a few deportations happening, at least, but unfortunately we are piddling into the wind.

3rd Dec 2004, 07:25
I was staggered the other day. I was behind a taxi who was doing BELOW the speed limit!

3rd Dec 2004, 07:39
I remember a few years ago they did a survey on Britains worst Taxi and Bus drivers and Blackpool came out top..no suprise there.
Worlds worst??From where I went in my last job a close run thing between India or Pakistan.Did a ride from a place called Veejayawada to Hyderabad 7 hours of nail biting,eyes closed and expressions like "**** me that was close" until it meant little more than a resigned plea to at least get me there in one piece.NEVER again.

3rd Dec 2004, 08:22
Was in the back of a Brighton & Hove cab a few years back with a buddy who is afraid of flying. One pointed out to him that we were far more likely to be T-Boned in the cab than have his plane crash. At which point we were T-Boned....by another cab.

Wlaked away from that one. Unsurprisingly, besty still afraid of flying.:(

Evening Star
3rd Dec 2004, 08:22
Made a 30 year old Volga in the snow between Sheremetyevo and Domedodovo in the rush hour feel like a limousine ride in Beverly Hills.

Now you are scaring me!

As for the taxi mafia at SVO ... oh woe. Last February was wanting to transfer from SVO 2 to SVO 1. Easy option is the microbus, cost 20 Roubles (about 40p). One taxi driver hassled me all the way to the bus stop, starting at $60 and dropping to $25 as I got to the bus stop while all the time assuring me the microbus is unreliable (and in that the ignorant peasant missed the point entirely, because if I know enough to get the microbus I know enough to understand it is reliable enough for my purposes!). Finally I snapped that I did not not know why he was quoting in Dollers as I am British and not American, at which point he quoted €25, an increase in price against Sterling based on the exchange rate that day!

3rd Dec 2004, 11:19
I was amused to read lately of the recent new Grand Prix in Shanghai - all of the journos and drivers who have been around a bit came back white-faced at the antics of the Chinese taxi drivers. Which reminds me of Gilles Villeneuve's road driving - journalists reported that his wife used to get into the back seat and try to hide in the footwell, hardly a surprise when you saw the way he drove on the track.

Personal taxi driver from hell favourites were Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo (anyone who drives anything in the big Brazilian cities should be certified), and a West African gentleman launching a taxi into the middle of rush hour central Parisian traffic with the street map wrapped around the steering wheel as he got his bearings - probably best not to look in Paris traffic at any rate!

tu chan go
3rd Dec 2004, 11:38
Not sure whether they are the worst or the best!

I recently visited Argentina and had a taxi ride from ther international airport to a hotel in the centre of Beunos Aires.

I have lived and driven in the Middle East but this just about scared the cr*p out of me. The ride started on a 6 lane motorway and was fairly innocuous except for the total disregard for the speed limit. I don't think he could get the car to go any faster without bits dropping off it (and that was quite likely!). This was made worse by the fact that, when approaching a toll barrier, the driver made no attempt to slow down... at all. He aimed for the barrier on the far left and, just before we impacted it, it lifted and we shot under. Seemingly, this was the pre-paid barrier and it somehow senses that you have 'pre-paid'. What would have happened if it had been faulty and not lifted, I dread to think. At least, the taxi (and probably the driver) would have been 'topless' afterwards. I would have been OK cos I was crouching on the back seat with my head down by now. Got some funny looks from the driver for my cowardice.

Once into the city proper, the speed did diminish a bit but the driving, if anything, got worse. Any gap in the traffic was good enough to aim for. Most of the gaps were smaller than the taxi but the other drivers seemed to sense a 'taxi-madman' coming up behind them and made room. During one particularly wild undertaking manoeuvre, we shot out from behind a car to find a woman with a small child trying to cross the road right in front of us. Luckily for them (and us), they stood stock still and we swerved at the last minute to avoid them. Inches to spare!

The method of passing through traffic light systems was also something to behold. This involved driving at high speed (and accelerating if not at max speed) towards the red lights and, if it didn't change in time, slamming the anchors on at the last minute. We even drove through a red light because he couldn't see anything else on the cross road!

I made 3 other taxi rides, all of them as scary if not more so in the next 2 weeks.

3rd Dec 2004, 11:43
Worst taxi ride ever was from central manhattan to JFK, jaysus the man looked like Samuel L Jacksons stunt double and he hadn't realised he wasn't still filming! This guy thought tarmac was for sissies and much prefered the grass beyond the hard shoulder, obviously this was much more suitable for his yellow cab! I still have nightmares about this now! And i am off to NYC next week as well:ugh:

3rd Dec 2004, 12:42
Newark-Manhattan was interesting. The driver was pleasant enough but as it was Ramadam and he was a Muslim AND the sun was just about to set, I figured out that he might have been a little peckish. Whether or not that affected his decision to get us to Manhattan and him back to New Jersey in time for his as early as possible supper I do not know but he certainly didn't hang around. Which was all the more impressive as the rest of the traffic was more or less stationary. :confused: With Mrs Balix and the little Balixes in the back, I was in the front to witness the terror fist hand. :eek:

The car was a clapped out piece of (yellow) sh1t. The automatic transmission gear stick, one of those steering column thingies, had disconnected itself with the result that the car was stuck in drive. Unsurprisingly, we never needed reverse or park all the way there. However, after he deposited us at our hotel he got stuck behing a parked truck and I eventually had to give him a push backwards, with the engine off, to give him some room to get out.


3rd Dec 2004, 14:27
Prague Airport to Prague city centre, never knew micheal schumacker drove taxi's for a living outside of the F1 calender. Czech for Stop is NOT red, pedestrian crossings became places to mow down as many locals as possible and you cant beat that feeling of a back end slide when he brakes while teetering on the tram rails.

3rd Dec 2004, 14:31

Luxor to Hurgada!............................and back


3rd Dec 2004, 14:38
This came up on the Dunnunda and Gods Forum a couple of weeks ago. My vote is for these helpful people (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=115139)

tall and tasty
3rd Dec 2004, 14:44
Greece on holiday last year on the mainland

All think they are on the Greek Rally and drive like complete maniacs!

But saying that Italian Taxi drivers are just as bad!


3rd Dec 2004, 14:46
I think you mean ALL Italian drivers. :E

West Coast
3rd Dec 2004, 16:00
The worlds worst drivers are in Hawaii and by extension the worst cab drivers are there as well.

3rd Dec 2004, 16:57
The ones in Beijing are not great I have to say. It starts when you land as you're mobbed in arrivals by them to get your business then you have to start the tedious process of haggling the fare (every time in China)

Then they like to drive on the wrong side of the road with bicycles and other dodgy vehicles coming towards them. They live beeping the horn as well.

Solid Rust Twotter
3rd Dec 2004, 17:28
South Africa. A lot of the mini bus taxis are stolen and some are without steering wheels, just a wrench locked to the column to steer. No regard for stoplights, stop signs or other road users. They'll cut you off run you off the road and generally intimidate other road users (especially women alone in the car) and if you say anything about it there's a good chance you'll have an AK47 shoved through the window before being beaten up. Most are overloaded and things like brakes, lights, windscreens and flashers are optional extras they feel they can do without.

3rd Dec 2004, 17:51
Westy, I hate to say it mate, but the drivers around your part of the world won't win any awards either ;)

Captain Airclues
3rd Dec 2004, 18:48

Back to the original post. A couple of years ago I got into a cab outside the Four Points Hotel in Darling Harbour and asked to go to Circular Quay. The driver had never heard of it and took me on a wild tour of Sydney. When I first visited Sydney in the late sixties all the cab drivers were Aussies who would engage in some 'friendly' banter about the pommie cricket team, and would always refuse a tip. They knew Sydney like the back of their hand. Progress?


ps. Bob, have you tried The Cruise Bar and ECQ down at Circular Quay? Also Jacksons on George has some good beers.

3rd Dec 2004, 23:29
Jakarta - hands down.

Best - Singapore.

Bob Upndown
4th Dec 2004, 05:47
Jerricho, great poem re the black cab at LHR, had exactly the same experience getting to the Sheraton from T3 - he was NOT fluffy, oh how my heart went out to him. NOT :} :}

Capt 'Clues, Now that's interesting, what happened to the Aussie cabbies? Seriously, was the industry deregulated at some stage that allowed dodgy operators to come in with these minimum wage earners of dubious origin :confused:

Thanks a million for the bar pointers, always appreciated. I'm off to Circular Quay and the Rocks tonight so I'll look for ECQ and Cruise Bar. Jacksons on George for another night methinks!


Solid Rust Twotter
4th Dec 2004, 06:10

Singapore taxi drivers very polite but they also have the annoying habit of driving with the right foot bouncing up and down on the accelerator. Leave the taxi at your destination with whiplash ......:}

4th Dec 2004, 08:41
... up and down Louis Botha Avenue in Jo-ennesberg, Sefrika.

Ditto about those minibustaxidrivers from Sefrika. And on the highway north out of Pretoria. If you don't die it'll make you a stronger man! Schumie can learn quite alot about "aggressive" driving from these baboons.

They do on ocassion chicken out when there is maybe a Casspir traipsing along the road behind them. Why not pay Johannesburg a visit, shove le forefinger in le air en get into whatever stops at your beckoning. It may still give you nerves of steel!

Ry hulle innie grond in manne!


Onan the Clumsy
4th Dec 2004, 13:18
New York City.

I got into a cab at 10th Av 17th Street and said "5th Av #1st Street please."

he looked at me and asked "Do you know how to get there?" :confused:

Puzzled, I responded "Can you count?"

Streets are numbered and run East West in sequence and Avenues are numbered and run North South in sequence.

4th Dec 2004, 14:07
Taxi drivers are shit. This is an insult to shit.

Lily Rowan
4th Dec 2004, 14:18
The drivers English language is generally poor, some even have a lot of trouble writing the receipts. They're generally incredibly rude and arrogant, demanding directions in broken English whilst riding up the ar$e of the car in front, pumping the accelerator and brake alternately.If you add “and utilize constant beeping of the horn as a substitute for actual driving skills,” you would describe every New York City cab driver I have encountered.

At least the New York City cabs have fare meters. In Washington DC, cab rates are determined by a mysterious “zone” system that allows the driver to charge you extra for merely passing through an extra zone on the way to your destination. :suspect: If you know the zone boundaries and ask the cabbie to drop you off on a particular side of the street (i.e., before crossing an intersection into another zone), prepare for a huge argument and a list of reasons why it is absolutely imperative that he not let you out of the cab until after crossing the intersection. :rolleyes: :mad:

4th Dec 2004, 18:54
I try to avoid taxis where the driver still has the bandage on his head from the last accident :E :E :E :E
If you can't take a joke don't dress like a refugee from the dark ages:) :) :)

4th Dec 2004, 21:39
The locals around Jeddah will take you closer to death, and to higher 'G' forces than most fast jet pilots will ever experience:uhoh: :eek: :uhoh: :eek:

5th Dec 2004, 04:47
Taxis in Tehran are pretty rough but the worst one I've had has to be a motorbike taxi in West Africa. I really had to get somewhere in a hurry - but I decided in a very short space of time nowhere is that important. Apart from weaving around the cars, his best trick was turning across the face of oncoming traffic, regardless of distance (or lack of). I was convinced it was going to end up, at best, with me sliding down the road, and at worst pasted across the front of a truck.

Learnt my lesson.

Some of the guys in Yuzhno Sakhalinsk in winter (now) are a bit alarming when they seem to make no allowance for the fact that they are driving on ice. There are some pretty impressive slides involved.

5th Dec 2004, 20:32
ooh,ooh, i thought of another one, i had tried to block it from my memory but ode to a black cab driver brought it back.

A delightful tour of heathrows four terminals from the delightful travel inn on the bath road (now travel inn premier. ROFLMAO) Whilst attempting to get to a certain close named stockely carried out at about 100mph with a fabulous middle eastern sound track and a osama piloting, I swear we kissed the ground when we arrived. :mad:

5th Dec 2004, 21:09
Bath Road you say........hmmm. I'm betting the bastard nearly put you through the windscreen when he stamped on the brakes to go through the speed cameras along there ;) :yuk:

5th Dec 2004, 21:17
Right enough I've had a couple of trips from Terminal 1 and 4 to Bath Road and they've been well dodgy, arrogant pri*ks in general. They don't want a short fare but I want to go and they have to accept. It's now a bit of a game rather than getting upset about it, I find the easiest way to start them off is to ask if they'll be going straight back to the airport after they drop me off or will that be enough work for the day.

Makes for a more intersting trip as you count how often they swear at you between the lights on Bath road. Could start a thread recording highest scores along with their card number, maybe with extra points for creativity in language abuse.

5th Dec 2004, 21:18
The driver was Okay, really. He was just trying to ease into the traffic stream from a side road. There was this van that seemed to ignore him, so he pushed his luck a little. The side door of the van slid open. Have you ever seen a machine-gun from the other end? The bore looks enormous. Enormous. Just the police doing a little community relations. Kingston, Jamaica. I told my man I was in no great hurry, not really.