So anyway, continuing the numbering theme from part uno:
12. Extras. In some states/cab companies this is varies widely, but here in Denver, the subject of “extras” is a gray area that tends to get folks riled up. (Customers that is.) The reason is that its pretty much up to the driver to stick it to the customer as he/she sees fit. General rule of thumb: moren’ two passengers starts up the “extras” which is defined as: 1 extra=1 dollar added to the fare.
Generally extras come into play for “split fares” where there are two separate destinations for one group, OR just a large party in the car.
Now the cab driver can stick as many extras on the meter as he/she likes, which is why some folks grabbing a taxi downtown scratch their heads at the wildly differing fares they get from day to day/cab to cab for the same trip. What is happening is the driver is gouging the customer. While I don’t always agree with this practice, I can understand the why of it. Downtown drivers are stuck (for the most part) with “short hops” which are bar to bar, or bar to residence in the downtown area. These are 4-10 dollar fares, and are sometimes irritating in the extreme, especially when the fare decides to become the PRO DRIVER in the back seat. To compensate for the annoyance and sometimes to make up for getting stiffed (tips), the drivers just stick extras in at the end of the ride, tap “total” and the customer pays what the meter reads.
13. Flagging. This is the universal method whereby the person desiring a cab waves their hand in the air in the general direction of the taxi, while generally making eye contact with the driver. The driver then hits the 4-ways (hazards) and pulls over to load the customer. If you’ve been following the http://lvcabbiechronicles.blogspot.com/ you’ll see that not all cities/states have the same rules. In the Denver metro area, as long as the taxi isn’t impeding traffic, flagging is perfectly acceptable.
14. Fuel and Maintenance. This also varies with company, but on a weekly lease (such as mine), all fuel costs are mine. This is considered overhead or cost of doing business, and as an independent contractor, necessary.
Maintenance is part of the lease expense, and is provided by the company. There are required maintenance checks at regular intervals, as well as daily inspections prior to cashing in receipts at Dispatch HQ. So far, I have been very impressed by our mechanics, not only with their response times and availability for small issues to the drivers, but also by the garage and fast turn around on vehicles being “shopped” (the process where the driver fills out a short form at driver services detailing issues with their vehicle and turning in the keys/computer for the car so that it can be fixed.)
I was going to include “hazards” in this post, but I think that deserves its own entry, so until ze next time, be safe and tip yer driver! 😀