16 May, 2010

Argument Over Taxi Fare

There was an incident involving a taxi driver and a passenger arguing about the amount of fares that the driver charged and the amount of fare that the passenger think she should pay. After reading about the incident, I pity both parties because such an incident shouldn't have occurred in the first place if both of them understand the situation. This is another reason why most taxi driver just doesn't want to pick up passengers during peak hours.

In the above incident, the taxi driver charged the passenger based on metered amount whereas the passenger insisted to pay her normal fee for traversing the same route. After the women insisted to pay the lower than expected fee, then the nasty incident happened where the taxi driver assaulted the passenger. 

On the perspective of the taxi driver, in order for him to avoid the congested route, he had made some detour and ended up with extra fee being charged due to the additional distance traversed. Given that the driver insisting to use the normal route that the passenger always use, the total travel time might be much longer due to traffic jam and the cost to both the driver and the passenger will be much higher.

I had experienced this scenario last week where during off peak period, the fare being charged using metered taxi is around RM 7 from the location to Kuala Lumpur Sentral and the travel time is only a few minutes. However, last week, I had to get into a taxi during peak hours and traffic jam is too bad where traffic is hardly moving. It took around an hour for the taxi to travel the same distance. Due to the longer travel time, the metered fee is around RM20. As I understood quite clearly that the driver is honest in using his metered fee and also the travel time is very long, I had no problem to pay him that amount because based on my previous experienced most taxi drivers just don't want to pick up passengers during traffic jam because they know that passengers will not agree to pay the higher fee amount. Also, based on my previous experience, taxi drivers even demanded not to use metered taxi but to charge exorbitant fee which is around RM70 to traverse the same distance. So, for the last trip that I made using the metered taxi, I really admired the taxi driver for honestly using the metered fee and at the same time both of us (me and the taxi driver) had to endure the gruelling traffic jam.

Relating to the above incident, I think the taxi driver had honestly use the metered charges to transport the passenger to the destination and I think the passenger should pay him the exact amount as mentioned on the taxi meter. But, unluckily, the taxi driver felt he was being cheated by the passenger for paying him less than the amount indicated on the meter and the regretful event happened. The passenger insisted not to pay the metered fee because she thought that the taxi driver wanted to rip her off. If both parties respect each other and there are no suspicions between them, the incident will not ever happen.

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