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And yet cabbies don't seem to have twigged to this in Melbourne. On the busiest nights it's regular to be refused a fare from the city to St Kilda as too short - a destination right next to two of the busiest nightclub/bar/restaurant strips in Melbourne. Unbelievable and massively annoying.

I've had the same happen to me in Sydney too actually - fare from the city to King's Cross, NO one would take me after finding out where I wanted to go, ended up having to walk alone at 3am in a strange city. Thanks guys!

Aren't your simple calculations incorrect? You said you got $50 for a 30 min fare, and wasted 30mins, so that's $50 for the hour, not $25.

I know what you mean about long distance fares on a busy day. We only have 4 cabs in our rural area, 3 beaters and a LTI TXII which is my pride and joy. We have one competitor with 2 cabs. When it is slow here I've come home after a ten hour shift with $10 in my pocket. When it is really busy we are overwhelmed. When it's busy I give the short runs priority because a) I make more money and b) the 8 other people waiting won't have to wait 45 minutes while I drive back from the middle of nowhere empty. It is better customer service overall to leave the long runs till last. I have a favourite pub and teahouse I can take long distance passengers to if they are willing. Nicer places to wait.

The dark art is blindingly obvious in a huge rural area with six cabs and a small population.

I quit and worked somewhere else for three months, so I'm only getting one regular shift per week. The rest of the time I'm "overflow" which means covering other driver's shifts when needed and taking the long distance runs. It's pretty much the junior driver (or the boss) who gets the long runs when there are shorter runs to be had.

adrian shhh don't tell everyone its better just to take every job as it comes along i after 30 years of pushing a cab around sydney and the last 6 years in a rural area as well just do every job as it comes along you never know what it will lead you to as long as the meters on your making money.driving in sydney with the manly network i know guys who will not leave the area,yes on busy nights its better to stay local but most times picking and choosing you end up making less.i know you don't like people knowing what cabbie's earn but i can do a semi on a friday or saturday and earn more than the average wage for a week in australia by just doing every job that comes my way.(hope no tax people read this blog)

The regulation as set out by the Department of Motor Transport state that if a Taxi cab is vacant, with its sign displayed, the driver must take the passenger to the stated destination. Simple as that. Long fare or short fare is all the same to me, take it as it comes. Sometimes things go smooth, other times they don't. Bottom line is, whatever motivates a driver to go a certain distance or destination has nothing to do with the travelling public, so oblige to the rule as stated above.
Manly cabbie, good for you mate. But to me the golden rule of not talking about earnings has nothing to do with the Tax department, we pay our taxes just like everyone in small business does. What drives me mad about the "talk" is the bull a lot of drivers go on with to justify their choice of profession. Think about the poor suckers that hear you, spent big dollars getting their Taxi licence, and then make $50,-- a night. There are lots of them and for the sake of not attracting others into this mistake I'd prefer you keep your good fortune to yourself.

BTW. The last time I looked the average wage in Australia was around $850,-- per week. If you can earn that doing a semi than I would expect you to live in a penthouse overlooking the harbour.

Miles, I would guess that both destinations being red light/clubbing districts would have certain drivers baulking over maybe traffic and/or nasty/drunken passengers.
Yes Wabz, got myself muddled, now cleaned up.
Crjc, nice to hear of your experience here. Are you an Aussie cabbie?
Manly cabbie, your wage boast reminds me of this famous skit!

Hi Adrian.

I live by what Monty Python called "the mighty rivers of of British Columbia." Our area covers the towns of Crofton, Chemainus, and Ladysmith on Vancouver Island.

Not one driver has been robbed in the three years I've been here, but we have seen falling trees, floods, forest fires, downed power lines and roads impassable with snow and ice. Lots of 12% grades. A 2-ton come-along (hand winch), cable and a chainsaw are standard equipment. It keeps things interesting.

We have similar regulations so far as picking people up on the road goes, but that almost never happens out here. People phone us instead, so it is easier to plan out routes to minimise wait times and keep the cab as full as possible. We do that ourselves too, since we are too small a company to have a dispatch. Call the cab number and you get the driver on duty's cellphone. First question is always "Where to?"

Three years ago we had a monopoly, but after a pissing match with a local bar owner over the state of some of his patrons (one 80lb driver was injured assisting a drunk 300lb woman) we stopped picking up there in less than 30 minutes. So now we have a competitor in Ladysmith. It has been very good for customer service. I've been doing a lot of research on vehicles, and convinced the boss to buy the London Cab last September. It's a beauty but useless in snow. Spins on a bloody snowflake. We still have three beaters to replace, which is a painfully slow process.

What do you drive?


Chris makes a good point, Adrian. How about a post on the different make/models of taxis that you get to drive, good and bad points etc.
I took a Prius "green" cab for a short trip last week, it sounded really weird hearing the two engines cut in and out, but it was nice inside and the front seat at least was comfortable. I would have liked to quiz the driver on how he found mileage etc, but it was only a short run.

Yup. Short jobs and lots of 'em. Those flagfalls add up. In Canberra I prefer to stay in the central area, doing the Manuka/Kingston/Civic triangle with as many carloads of young party people as I can squeeze in.

Sure, and it's nice to get a long fare on a slow night, but when it's hopping I don't want to be out of the action.

I drive a Fairlane - one of the last of the breed - and I love it. Comfy leather seats, lots of buttons to push, and the passengers enjoy the extra room in the rear cabin.

Crjc, kind of familiar with your locale after spending a summer vacation on Van Is and a winter visit to Lake Cowichan. Driven in snow there and can relate to your woes.

In Sydney we mainly drive second hand Fords fitted with LPG. Fairly adequate for the job of carrying 4 passengers. The main problem with the Prius is they only carry 3 pass.

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