12 October 2020

7 Interesting Facts About Taxis

1. The Longest Taxi Journey Ever Taken Was From London To Sydney

Ever wanted to travel to Australia? Most people would probably prefer to take the plane, but three Londoners; Leigh Purnell, Johno Ellison and Paul Archer, took it upon themselves to get a taxi to drive them halfway across the world to Sydney. The trio chose to take the long way round to get to Australia, jokingly noting it was “because taxi drivers always take all the longest way around.”

The route itself went across, in this order – England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, Monaco, Italy, San Marino, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, UAE, Pakistan, India, Nepal, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and finally Australia.

Upon reaching Australia, the trio were able to extend their journey (via a sponsorship from Gett) by travelling back to the UK via the United States (San Francisco to New York), Israel via air-freight, Greece, the Baltics, Russia, Germany, Luxembourg and France, before finally returning to London.

The journey in total cost around £79,006.80, and took around 43,319 miles to complete.


2. Longest Uber Journey – North Carolina To California

Imagine you’ve just had a long day delivering passengers to their destination, and then decide to take one last passenger before calling it a day – and then finding out that passenger wants you to drive them over 2000 miles to the other side of the country!

That’s exactly the scenario Uber driver Anthony had when he decided to take YouTube star MrBeast’s request. The YouTuber set out to break the record for longest Uber journey by requesting one from across the United States east to west coasts. The star travelled through North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and finally California.

The journey took around 2256 miles, with a cost of $5500. However MrBeast, known for generously giving large amounts of money to unsuspecting people, is believed to have given the driver Anthony a rather generous tip, as well as enough money to pay for fuel on his ride back home.


3. Only 2% Of London’s Cab Drivers Are Female

Though taxis roam across the country, the vast majority of drivers out there are male. This accounts for all types of taxis and ride-sharing vehicles there. Statistically, this means out of all the 21,000 black cabs out there in London, over 20,000 would most likely be driven by a male driver, and only approximately 420 would be driven by a female driver.


4. Weird Lost Items

Being a taxi driver means often finding lost items inside your cab at some point. Commonly lost items include smartphones, wallets, maybe the occasional toy. However, amongst the strangest things to be left behind in a taxi include £1 million in cash, a live lobster. Perhaps the most unfortunate (or fortunate, if they were ever found) thing to be lost in a taxi however, is an engagement ring.

A living, breathing human baby has even been found lost in a taxi. We don’t know how such a thing could have happened, but we imagine the parents must have been in a rush when leaving the vehicle.


5. Don’t Shout “Taxi!”

It’s one of the most common ways to hail a taxi. Despite this, however, this activity should be discouraged as it can be considered a distraction to the driver. Instead, passengers should just wave their hand out instead if they want to hail a taxi.


6. Name Origin

Whilst one might expect the word taximeter to derive from the word taxi, it’s actually the other way around! By 1907, the word “taxicab” was being used to refer to the vehicles we know and love today, which eventually was shortened to just taxi and cab.


7. Taxi Driving Is One Of The Most Dangerous Professions

It has been well established that becoming a taxi driver means entering one of the most dangerous professions out there. As a driver, you find yourself interacting with many different passengers each day, which heightens the risk of encountering someone less-than-friendly during your shift.

Unfortunately, one of the side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is that taxi drivers frequently find themselves at risk of exposure. However, there have been many methods used to keep both drivers and passengers safe. This has included fitting protective screens where permitted, and cleaning the taxi after every ride taken.

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