Two Saturdays ago, a friend and I went out to see the lights as part of Vivid Sydney (they were really good, by the way). As we were walking back to the car park, we witnessed an altercation between a taxi driver and the passenger. The passenger didn’t want to pay the fare, the driver wanted the fare. A fight ensued, and a minute later the passenger ran off the driver’s cap.
My friend asked me whether we should help the driver. I said no. The reason being that I (we) didn’t want get hurt as a result. In the end I said to him, “Even though you want to help, it’s safer not to. Sad, I know, but that’s reality.”
I know I did the right thing, but would you have done the same?
Earlier that night walking along George St, I saw at least two cases of passengers running of without paying. In the more fortunate case, two girls ran out of the taxi to the cover (it was raining that night). The driver followed them and recovered the fare after some shouting.
These incidents, I believe, highlight the need for prepaid fares in the evenings on weekends. I think it’s reasonable and not difficult to hand over $10 before the trip starts. I also think it is right to pay for the services that you have used. For the drivers, it is their livelihoods. They are the same as anyone with a job, and deserve to be paid for the job they do. It is a shame to the society that young people are not taught/told of these basic life principles.
Whether drivers get paid enough is another issue; the important thing is that they get paid in the first place.