|出租车问题多 Taxi Troubles|
|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/07/22 10:33 《Speak 2 Me》|
Two of the world’s great cities could not be more different when it comes to their taxis
Nearly everyone, it seems, has a story about a particularly awful taxi ride. Many drivers act like they’re in training to fly jet airplanes, and a safe arrival at one’s destination often seems like a miracle. One joke says that God loves taxi drivers because they inspire so many people to pray.
While passengers love to complain about taxi drivers, the drivers of New York are in a league of their own. New York’s taxis carry over 250 million passengers a year, but those passengers don’t always end up where they want to be. A few years ago, a man from Finland flew into New York and asked a taxi driver to take him downtown. The trip took them through downtown Philadelphia and Newark and, when the man finally ended up where he wanted to be, the fare was over $500.
Passengers even have problems with the honest cab drivers. Many of the drivers are recent immigrants from South Asia, so some of them don’t know English, and some aren’t that familiar with the city, either. This can lead to problems and New York is probably unique in that it has a Taxi Court, with 52 full-time judges, hearing complaints from passengers.
So what city has the best taxi drivers? Opinions differ, but there’s a consensus that Tokyo taxi drivers are among the most polite and skilled anywhere. Not only are the cars spotlessly clean, so are the drivers – always wearing white gloves, a suit and a tie. Tokyo cab drivers consider themselves professionals, and take pride in their work.
Of course, that kind of service and professionalism doesn’t come cheap: a typical taxi ride in Tokyo is 300% more expensive than a ride of equal distance in New York. But for those who want to save their prayers, it’s a small price to pay.