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Author Topic: Blind leading the blind - MSN and Chinese taxi drivers  (Read 2394 times)

xwarrior

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Blind leading the blind - MSN and Chinese taxi drivers
« on: November 06, 2010, 12:32:34 PM »
The article says it all.

http://www.fastcompany.com/1700480/revenge-of-the-cabbie

All I can say is that Google must have to be giving some pretty indirect routes if a Chinese taxidriver can improve on them.



I have my standards. They may be low, but I have them.
- Bette Midler

seamallowance

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Re: Blind leading the blind - MSN and Chinese taxi drivers
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2010, 12:29:43 PM »
I never thought that I would be called to defend Chinese taxi drivers, but I spent a year as a San Francisco taxi driver. If you think that's easy, try it.

But yeah, the old drivers learn some tricks alright. And when they pass along those sekret squirrel routes, you can make a little money. You see, a driver only makes money when there is a new ass in the backseat. The more you can "turn" riders, the more money you make.

Veteran taxi drivers' brains work differently. Think: chess players. Same thing.

And the reason that you see newbies using GPS is that they are still learning. The average driver only lasts three months.

Day Dreamer

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Re: Blind leading the blind - MSN and Chinese taxi drivers
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2010, 01:52:33 PM »
7 years as a Toronto hack. Owned my own car, made money. When the market died, I bailed.

Yuppers, the trick is to get rid of your passenger as quickly as possible.
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James the Brit

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Re: Blind leading the blind - MSN and Chinese taxi drivers
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2010, 02:32:39 PM »
"Yuppers, the trick is to get rid of your passenger as quickly as possible. "

why? the longer the passenger stays the more money you make? unless youre sure to pick someone else up soon after?

Day Dreamer

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Re: Blind leading the blind - MSN and Chinese taxi drivers
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2010, 10:12:26 AM »
NO. Let's assume a trip from point A to point B will cost for example around twenty dollars. If I can get you there in one minute (I know, just for the sake of arguement) I might make only $19 then I can get the next fare.

If its an average trip (let's say 30 minutes) I'll get the twenty.

But if its slow going for whatever reason, (an hour) I'll get 21 bucks.

The customer, once in the car is going to his destination with a predetermained approx cost. Time is far more valuable. The sooner you get out and give me the 20, the sooner I can get my next passenger.

Over the course of a shift, the time saved due to skill and experience can fetch as many as an extra 5-10 trips. And that is how I made money. I grew up in Toronto and knew the city well. New comers (though smart and good people) don't have the "city savvy" to do this immediately. Over time they learn, but I had it day 1
For you to insult me, first I must value your opinion

xwarrior

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Re: Blind leading the blind - MSN and Chinese taxi drivers
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2010, 02:20:41 PM »
re: taxis

Some helpful hints passed on by Jian Shuo Wang in his blog on Shanghai:
http://home.wangjianshuo.com/

Quote
Tips to Get a Taxi
by Jian Shuo Wang (@jianshuo) on September 13, 2005 under Taxi

Taxi is becoming a headache in Shanghai. I remember about three years ago, taxi is was still abundant resource and I can could hire a taxi easily - empty taxis are were everywhere. (Update: Thanks Fang Fang to correct spelling of this paragraph)

However, recently, it is very hard to find a taxi. It is not rare to wait for half an hour in People's Square area or Lujiazui area. There are no empty taxi at all and there are more than 20 passengers are waving their hands to call a taxi.

I chatted with a taxi driver on this and he laughed out loudly. He was very kind to share some tips and suggestions he has for passengers to get higher chance to call a taxi in rush hours.

1) Avoid Corners

Typically, if you wave your hand, and there are enough passengers the taxi driver can choose from, he will avoid those who stand at street corners since it will caught attention from police.

2) Avoid crowd

If there are many people standing together and all wave their hands, he suggests that you should stand about 3 meters behind those crowd. Most taxi drivers try to avoid stop before more than one person. It also happens that some one opens the front door and the other one grap the back door, and they start to argue who should take the taxi - it is not easy for any of them to give up after standing their and waving for 20 minutes - It means another half an hour of waiting .... Taxi drivers don't want to get involved in this. They typically will choose someone who stand behind but also waving - just stop directly in front of one person so others don't have a chance to catch up.

3) Keep Waving

According to the first rule, even though you think the taxi has slowed down for others, just keep waving. Some taxi drivers will keep moving until they see someone like you they feel comfortable to stop - to avoid conflict.

4) Go to Hotels

To go to hotel front door is a good idea since many taxi drops off passengers there.

It is very interesting tip!
I have my standards. They may be low, but I have them.
- Bette Midler

The Local Dialect

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Re: Blind leading the blind - MSN and Chinese taxi drivers
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2010, 02:53:24 PM »
He's right about intersections. It is illegal for taxis to stop too close to intersections so lots of drivers won't risk it, especially at particularly busy intersections.

The thing about groups of people is that when people are all standing in a cluster waiting for a taxi, inevitably some will break away and move and try to move a bit ahead of the crowd so the coming taxis will get there first. Then others in the crowd will try and move ahead of that crowd. Eventually you end up walking halfway down the road trying to be at the front of the taxi crowd. What we've actually done when we're in a busy area where it is hard to hail a cab is get on a random bus and ride it a stop or two down the line to where the crowd has thinned out a bit and there is less taxi competition.

There is very little in China that ticks me off more than people outright stealing your taxis out from under your nose. You know, when you've been waiting somewhere for like 15 minutes, a cab rolls up and out of nowhere some other dude just jumps in and grabs it. This is like queue jumping, but worse, because you have no idea when or if another taxi will arrive, or if the next one will get stolen too, and once the taxi stealer has jumped into the taxi he's gone and you can't do anything about it.   

xwarrior

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Re: Blind leading the blind - MSN and Chinese taxi drivers
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2010, 11:04:24 PM »
Quote
get on a random bus and ride it a stop or two down the line to where the crowd has thinned out a bit and there is less taxi competition.

Great idea!

I have found trying to get a taxi when it is raining is next to impossible. Every taxi seems to be taken and on a mission ... and I am not sure where/how those passengers got to find one.  mmmmmmmmmm

   
I have my standards. They may be low, but I have them.
- Bette Midler