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Short of cash and drunk: Should taxi driver go extra mile?

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Short of cash and drunk: Should taxi driver go extra mile?

Post by Aftab on Fri 15 May 2009 - 15:30


Angry: Rochelle Bailey, right, with her sister Sam

Published Date: 15 May 2009
By David Walsh
BY her own admission Rochelle Bailey was drunk. Sliding around in the back of a taxi she was struggling to count her change and stay upright at the end of a boozy night out in Sheffield.
After a few attempts she finally had a total – 8.30 – and when the meter reached that amount she told the driver.

She was half a mile from her home in Firth Park. But instead of discussing how to pay the extra, he slammed on the brakes and turfed her out on Barnsley Road.

It was 3.30am and Rochelle, aged 22, rapidly sobered up when she realised her predicament.

The single mum-of-one started walking – but she became so afraid the sound of her heels would attract unwelcome attention she took her shoes off and crept home.

Thankfully her only injury was a cut to her foot. But the following morning she was fuming.

Rochelle, of Willington Road, Firth Park, said: "I could have been in serious trouble. I was only a pound short, but I was really shocked at being let out in an unsafe place.

"This happened to me once before and the driver took me the last bit without asking for more money.

"Mum was really mad and says I should have rung her, but I didn't have any credit. It all happened so fast I didn't have time to think, there was money at home, or we could have gone to a cash machine, but I didn't get the chance."

ACTION

CHAIR of Sheffield Taxi Trade Association Hafeas Rehman said in similar circumstances drivers would usually drop a lone woman off at her destination, or go to a cash machine.

He said: "It's very rare, but the other side is she had enough money to get in a club and drink herself into that state, surely she could have kept enough for the trip home. Why should a taxi driver have to deal with it?

"It depends on the attitude as well, taxi drivers get a lot of abuse."
Mr Rehman forwarded a text sent to a driver recently who had helped a young woman out.

It says: "Just to say thank you very much for the care and kindness you showed our daughter last night. You will be pleased to hear she is now home safe and sound in Sunderland. It is so nice to know there are people like you still in the world."

Pat Boyd, taxi licensing manager at Sheffield Council, said in an email to Sam, Rochelle's sister: "I am disappointed that the driver did not take your sister home, even if she did not have enough money to pay the fare, it reflects badly on the taxi trade.

"However taxi drivers are self-employed and he is not legally obliged to provide a service to anyone, if they do not have the means to pay the total fare to the destination."



http://www.thestar.co.uk/action/Short-of-cash-and-drunk.5270918.jp
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Re: Short of cash and drunk: Should taxi driver go extra mile?

Post by john on Sat 16 May 2009 - 6:38

this says it all down to the driver

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Re: Short of cash and drunk: Should taxi driver go extra mile?

Post by Aftab on Sat 16 May 2009 - 20:52

I agree John, the licensing office did put them right. I got a young lad asking me to take him to Hunters bar round about, and as we set off he said,” I’ve only got a fiver, that'll be enough won't it?" To which I told him, no, but more like 6 or maybe even a bit more. We got to the Summerfield Street lights and it clicked to 5.10, and I offered him the choice, I'll take him half way, up to Tesco and he will have to walk the rest up to the round about, and even though the fare is likely to be more I'll charge only the fiver. When we got to Tesco, he began to plead with me to take him a little further to the round about, but I told him the fare on the meter was already 5.60 and I wasn't prepared to lose more on this trip. He produced a 10 note, gave it to me and asked for a fiver back. He had the money but his excuse was that he needed it for tomorrow. He did get a short lecture in economics, and dignity, and willingly paid the full fare to his home in Grestones as well Wink . We should and mostly we do show understanding to legitimate cases but how do you weed out those who merely try it on?

As for this young lady, does give away intent to get drunk and expects to be taken home at a discount, when she states this
"This happened to me once before and the driver took me the last bit without asking for more money.
She won't do it again if she keeps the long walk in mind, I hope Rolling Eyes Only a 1 or so in question but if it becomes the norm for drivers offering discounts to every young lady, then within no time they'll all ask to turn the meter off a mile before home.

The licensing office played diplomacy but could have clarified the situation that it is an offence to hire a taxi without the means to pay for it, and as she accepts she has done this before, she knew she didn't have enough money, but expected a discount from the dummy driver. There is not always a clear blame, but the drivers can judge a situation and consider the dangers that they may be leaving an individual in and always play safe, for themselves and their passengers, as we do have some responsibility to out customers.
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Re: Short of cash and drunk: Should taxi driver go extra mile?

Post by tony on Sun 17 May 2009 - 13:41

Aftab wrote:I agree John, the licensing office did put them right. I got a young lad asking me to take him to Hunters bar round about, and as we set off he said,” I’ve only got a fiver, that'll be enough won't it?" To which I told him, no, but more like 6 or maybe even a bit more. We got to the Summerfield Street lights and it clicked to 5.10, and I offered him the choice, I'll take him half way, up to Tesco and he will have to walk the rest up to the round about, and even though the fare is likely to be more I'll charge only the fiver. When we got to Tesco, he began to plead with me to take him a little further to the round about, but I told him the fare on the meter was already 5.60 and I wasn't prepared to lose more on this trip. He produced a 10 note, gave it to me and asked for a fiver back. He had the money but his excuse was that he needed it for tomorrow. He did get a short lecture in economics, and dignity, and willingly paid the full fare to his home in Grestones as well Wink . We should and mostly we do show understanding to legitimate cases but how do you weed out those who merely try it on?

As for this young lady, does give away intent to get drunk and expects to be taken home at a discount, when she states this
"This happened to me once before and the driver took me the last bit without asking for more money.
She won't do it again if she keeps the long walk in mind, I hope Rolling Eyes Only a 1 or so in question but if it becomes the norm for drivers offering discounts to every young lady, then within no time they'll all ask to turn the meter off a mile before home.

The licensing office played diplomacy but could have clarified the situation that it is an offence to hire a taxi without the means to pay for it, and as she accepts she has done this before, she knew she didn't have enough money, but expected a discount from the dummy driver. There is not always a clear blame, but the drivers can judge a situation and consider the dangers that they may be leaving an individual in and always play safe, for themselves and their passengers, as we do have some responsibility to out customers.
I got a feeling some of our taxi drivers could write books about how punters try on newer and newer tricks Laughing To get the public's response just read the comments on the news website that the op is quoted from. Almost all of them condemn the little upstart for being irresponsible.

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Re: Short of cash and drunk: Should taxi driver go extra mile?

Post by Aftab on Sun 17 May 2009 - 18:20

Yeah read some on there sir, and by far most people have been critical of the young lady. Most people do understand the problems that taxi drivers have to face on a daily basis.
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Re: Short of cash and drunk: Should taxi driver go extra mile?

Post by Admin on Fri 19 Jun 2009 - 1:33

The drivers account published in the Star

Not thrown out of taxi









Published Date: 04 June 2009
I AM writing in response to your article, Walking home's just so un-fare (May 15) about a young lady who claimed she was thrown out of a taxi by the cab driver when she did not have enough money for her fare.
I was the taxi driver who picked this lady up. I feel the article was misleading and not an accurate account of all that happened.

The lady was picked up from West Street in the city centre and asked to go to Firth Park. ADVERTISEMENT

As the location approached ,she was asked where she wanted to go. She replied: "I only have 8.30 so please take me as far as that can take me."

This was subsequently on the corner of Hucklow Road and Barnsley Road.

At this stage I asked if that was ok for her and close enough for her home to which she replied: "Yes". I asked: "Are you sure", to which she again replied: "Yes"

I asked that if she wanted me to take her directly outside her house, then I could take her to the nearest cash machine (which was further down Hucklow Road), to which she replied: "No…Here is fine". At no point were the brakes slammed or threats made to kick her out.

She paid her fare and left the taxi. At no point did she mention she was worried for her safety or did not want to walk home.

If she'd asked to be taken a further mile up the road and offered to pay the difference then I would have taken her, but she asked to be dropped off at this location.

I take great pride in my job and if I feel somebody needs my help then I will help them. Occasionally, female passengers who are alone ask me to wait until they have got into their homes before I drive away and I have been happy to do this.

The danger of this article is that if you encourage this kind of behaviour: (ie I don't have any money for the fare, can you please take me to a cash point, can you please drive me home for free and I will then pay you etc...) it can encourage other people to do the same, encourage some to do 'runners' and can also lead to arguments – where the fare may rise due to extra time the cab is kept waiting.

Taxi drivers have enough problems to deal with on a busy night-verbal/racial/physical abuse, people doing 'runners', people being sick in the cab etc and we don't want to encourage this kind of behaviour.

The article was not a true account of what happened (I should know, I was the sober one) and I felt it tarnished the reputation of hard-working taxi drivers in Sheffield and although it did not name any individual taxi driver, I felt it did reflect negatively on the taxi trade.

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