London Taxis Voted World’s Best

Every Perpetual Traveller quintessentially knows that Taxis represent a vital means of flexible add-hoc transportation, especially so in Mega cities, for getting from A to B in addition to being an option for that all important transfer from the arrival airport to the Hotel (return trip of course).

The statistics speak for themselves, as approximately on average 65% of all travellers actually take a Taxi ride. Moreover, Taxi drivers play a key role in within the wider context of the overall Tourism service of a destination too, that should not be overlooked or underestimated. They can often prove to be ones first and last point of contact, when in a strange or new country and they have the capacity to leave an everlasting effect either (good or bad).

I have personally experienced both sides of the coin here and feel that Tourism Authorities should generally regulate the Taxi service, as some regions of the world offer a pretty poor unmonitored service. The challenge is that Taxi Unions can often be powerful (especially in the Caribbean for example) and regulation may be politically challenging, which is why there is a mess in some places of the world. Taxis may be well versed in road maps, but what about Etiquette, manners, dress code and Language skills for that matter?

Following a recent survey conducted by results suggest that good old London Cabbies made it to the Top Spot! European travel Voters considered London Taxis as the friendliest, safest, cleanest and most available. They also had the best knowledge of their city! It is said to take the average London Taxi applicant 4 years to learn the knowledge of the area and the testing is incredibly difficult. Having said this, on the dark side, London Taxis were also considered the most expensive, so in the end you pay for what you get!

Paris Taxis were considered the rudest, while Athens had the dirtiest Taxis and New York had the worst Cab drivers, who also had poor knowledge of their area.

Other destinations that scored well concerning individual criteria as follows:

- Bangkok and Hong Kong scoring highly on value
- Berlin and Edinburgh based on quality of driving
- Dublin raced up the ranking for friendliness
- Berlin entered the top five for safety
- Las Vegas scored highly for availability of Taxis

  1. London
  2. New York
  3. Madrid
  4. Paris
  5. Barcelona
  6. Berlin
  7. Dubai
  8. Edinburgh
  9. Las Vegas
  10. Sydney

At the other end of the scale, in the individual categories it was Santiago de Chile that claimed the bottom spot for value, knowledge of the area, safety and availability, whilst Mexico City came bottom for cleanliness, Marrakech for quality of driving and Moscow for friendliness. Other countries that didn’t fair so well were Rio de Janeiro (0.57%), Moscow (0.49%), Cape Town (0.49%), Shanghai (0.47%) and Santiago de Chile (0.24%).

Voters were also given the opportunity to submit any stories about Taxi Journeys they had taken some of the stories highlights include:

- A Taxi driver in Granada, Spain, who could not find the passengers destination charged them no fare and entertained them with local songs en route!
- Taxi drivers in Tokyo wear white gloves and stop the meter if they take a wrong turn.
- A Taxi driver in St Petersburg sang the Opera 'Carmen' throughout the journey.
- A Taxi driver in Tokyo returned his passengers Guitar to their hotel after it had been left in the back of the Taxi.
- A couple complained about being stalked through Marrakech by a Cabbie wanting to ensure a return fare on their journey.
- Taxi drivers getting into physical fights with other drivers or pedestrians during a fare.
- A driver in Buenos Aires crashing through a parking toll barrier on leaving the airport.
- A Cypriot taxi driver involved in a high speed police chase.
Survey information sourced

Enjoy the ride!

Sharon Mckinley


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