New York City Cab Drivers Reveal What Passengers Can Do To Get The Best Service

Photo: Stuck in Customs

One of the most uncomfortable experiences anyone can have in New York City is a rude cab driver or a wild cab ride.It’s hard to tell when it will happen. There are some clues — say, the driver swerves through three lanes of traffic to get to the curb where you’re standing — but clues like that aren’t always available.

The cabbie could just be a bad or new driver, that’s just the luck of the draw. Other times, though, the passenger experience is bad because it seems that drivers aren’t pleased that they have someone sitting in the back seat. They don’t want to take directions, and they don’t listen to requests.

Since riders don’t tip until after the service has been rendered, we wanted to understand why a cab driver would offer such horrible customer service (aside from just having a bad day), and what passengers could do to prevent it.

We spoke to a number of cab drivers, and asked them how passengers could get the best service on their ride. In the end, they all basically came to the same conclusion. Jasvider Ghotra, an 8 year veteran of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission, said it best:

“Just come into my cab and say hello,” said Ghotra. “Don’t pretend like I’m a robot. First say hi and then give your destination. That way I know that you know there’s a person in the front seat.”

There were other popular answers: Try not talking on the phone too loudly. Another good one — do the cabbie a favour and turn off the video terminal in the cab if you’re not watching it. Remember, they have to listen to that thing all day.

That’s just the cab driver’s side of the story though, leave your comments on how cab drivers can get a big tip from you below.

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