Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Multi-tenant Taxi

I got a taxi this morning surprisingly fast. After the previous days issues with taxi's being over-utilized due to poor weather I figured I had 50/50 odds of having to walk due to all taxi's being taken. There was one twist to the usual taxi experience though: my cabbie kept trying to pickup additional passengers along the way! He would pull over and ask potential customers where they were going (I think; obviously couldn't really understand) , presumably looking for an additional passenger going somewhere close to where I was going. After three or four tries we picked up some other chap. At the end of the ride the cost was the same as normal but we had the other passenger in the back still. I don't think the meter was run normally. The price was read off the meter but it didn't print the receipt (normally triggered by flipping the meter off to signal trip done) and when I asked for a receipt I was given multiple receipts from other rides, presumably accumulated from trips when passengers didn't want the receipt.

I'm pretty sure that my companion and I rode off the books and the fee went straight into the drivers pocket. Or ... perhaps he triggered the meter when I got in, he took my fee off the books, dropped off my companion, then triggered the meter for trip completed. This approach would allow him to pocket my fee without having an odd period of inactivity in his records that the taxi company might detect. Crafty :)

-- Rod.

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