By Danielle Antosz
Whether you are native to Tampa Bay or just in town visiting, taxis are a convenient way to get around town and avoid dealing with parking fees, terrible traffic or unfamiliar public transportation system.
If you are in the Saint Petersburg FL area (or most any major cities) and want to get where you are going fast and without an issue, you need to treat your taxi driver well! Here is how to successfully flag a taxi and get where you are going quickly.
1. Pretend you aren’t as drunk as you are. Your friend told a joke, and it was just plain hilarious. Awesome, but while you are bent over double laughing it up, taxis are driving right past you. Picking up drunk people is part of the job, but if we get the idea you are going to be a huge pain then you aren’t worth it. We will keep on driving.
2. Know where you are going and be able to communicate it clearly. We can’t hear you when you mumble. Be ready to tell the driver where you are going, preferably with an exact address. Please don’t discuss it with your friends for five minutes and make me wait. (with that being said don’t be afraid to ask. Tampa taxi drivers
know where all the major points of attraction are!)
3. Accept the rules of the cab. This means (but is not limited to) – no smoking or drinking if you are asked not to. Taxi drivers are providing a service, but they aren’t servants. Treat their ride with respect the same way you would a friend’s car.
4. Feel free to strike up a (friendly!) conversation. Half the fun of driving a cab is getting to talk to interesting people. Just don’t be rude!
5. If you are feeling sick always let the driver know!! You aren’t the first, nor will you be the last, drunk person in this cab. Just please, please don’t throw up in the cab. If you think you might get sick there is a really good chance the driver has a stash of plastic bags.
6. Don’t under estimate the driver. Just because you think it doesn’t take much to learn how to drive a taxi doesn’t mean your driver is an idiot. Most drivers have quite a bit of experience behind the wheel and know how to get exactly where they are going. Please, no backseat driving!
7. Want to sit up front? Ask first! Keep in mind that you are entering into the driver’s car and this job is occasionally dangerous. Most drivers don’t mind you sitting up front, but have the courtesy to ask first.
8. Tip well! Just like doctors, lawyers, and everyone else with a job, we do this for a living. And many drivers work for themselves which means no hourly rate. Just like going to a restaurant when you flag a cab tips are expected as part of the transaction. You benefit too – it helps keep fares down!