Friday, April 10, 2009

KL Taxis

A few days ago, major newspapers highlighted the dishonest taxi drivers. Out of 600+ taxis being checked, only a handful were found to be honest. Actually, this problem is nothing new to me. They have been fiddling with the meters since 1987! That was my first encounter! I remember the year very well because that was the year I implemented a VAX8700 computer for my office. Also, that year, I got chicken pox!
To be honest, I am very scare of taking taxis in KL. I am scare because of the uncertainty that I have to face, eg, how are they going to charge, how many times faster will the meter "jump", etc. Last December, the above taxi driver purposely cover the meter. It is ok with me if we can agree on the price upfront. Then it is my choice to take or not to take.
I personally felt that the government is to blame because the current taxi fare in KL is far too cheap. They have to make a living also. The various rules, eg, they are prohibited to take passenger on the return trip from KLIA is absurd. KLIA is some 50-60KM from KL and burning petrol for nothing on the way out is simply not making any economic sense. Therefore, the passenger has to pay!
Another problem is the transport system in the Klang Valley is simply insufficient. For example. why can't they make the monorail longer? etc etc. I am hoping that the government can do something really quick to fix public transport problems in the Klang Valley.


FM Luder said...

Don't wish for this to happen too soon. Taxi prices are extremely expensive in this country because they are highly regulated.

There are two types of taxi in the UK - normal taxis and black cabs.

Normal taxis aren't allowed to pick up people who flag them down because they won't be insured. They are a lot cheaper than black cabs but you have to book in advance. The drivers stick to the rules, too. I used to live about a thirty minute walk to the city centre. It would cost me £8 (not including tips) to get a taxi to the centre and £20 to get to the airport (Manchester airport is about eight miles away from the centre).

Black taxis are a lot more expensive because of their convenience. You can flag them down whenever you like. But to get from one side of the city centre to the other you'd be looking at £6 or so. I think every metre you go costs about a penny (or something like that!).

The only time I can afford to catch a taxi is with my friends. Plus they get cheesed off if you don't tip them handsomely. Taxis are my least favourite mode of transport!

William said...

Fox: I saw that non-black taxi when I was in Leeds. I thought they are special. Now I understand it! Thanks.
Often, getting into a taxi in KL is to allow your own pocket to be raped! Hahaha.

Kong said...

If the driver is a Malay, I always like to ask them this question: Is this taxi license yours? Try that and you will understand why BN lost heavily Mar-08. And BTW, the driver becomes pretty friendly after you gave him the opportunity to vented out his anger. He starts to treat you as a sympathetic friend. And I always lend them my ears.

William said...

Kong: Thanks for your tips. Maybe, he will ask you for more money after finding that you have a ear to hear!

^SpRInG^ said...

I always ask for the price up front before getting into one. They are just like thieves in the dark, lurking on you when you're not aware.