Saturday, December 2, 2017

Worst taxis in the world. It's Bangkok without doubt.

I am not talking about the Drivers, Taxis, Cost, Infra or any specific thing but the overall experience. The source is nothing but purely on my observation and limited travel experience over a decade mainly in Asia Pac. So here it goes.

  • India
Ugly: Hardware, Cleanliness & Safety.

The experience sucks here due to Hardware (quality of the vehicle) but situation improved thanks to Uber, Ola kind. Most of these cars are new but depending on the luck you would still get in to a dirty car with wrapped plastic over head rests.

Seatbelts are either purely for Display purposes or doesn't exist. The built quality of these cars are just a surrounded sheet metal so do not expect grand safety features. Also the Drivers are poorly trained, and the lack of enforcement tend to make the ride scary at times. 

Average: Communication, Traffic & Professionalism

Majority of the Drivers are able to communicate in English, so communication is not a major issue but the accent, variation of address/name tend to confuse but I never had an issue thanks to the servitude nature of many Drivers Still acceptable IMHO. The only issue is the "expectation" of Tips/Gratuities makes professionalism in to average. That's something the society need to change.

Traffic can be terrible but it can be planned to avoid major disruptions and its either on par or better than majority nation. 

Great: Availability, & Cost

Once again, thanks to Uber, Ola & similar apps the availability of taxis are amazing. I never had to wait more than 10 min in any of the places I have been to. Most of the times in less than 5 min, I can get in to the taxi. Cost is not bad and great compared to the other costs in India (India is a very expensive place to live, work, travel)

Tips: Get a Uber Black or Similar Premium version to be sure about Safety, Communication and the 30 min traffic jam bearable. 

  • Indonesia
Ugly: Traffic, 

Major problem in Indonesia is Traffic. Nothing else. So plan your schedule based on traffic and nothing else matters. Don't be surprised if a 5 KM ride ends up you sitting in the taxi for 2 hours during peak hours.

Average: Availability, Cleanliness, Safety, & Communication

Bluebird is everywhere, and majority are Toyota vios kind of stuff or MPV. Seat belts do exists, and if you want to go with Silverbird or Goldbird then you can enjoy the mini vans. 

In the ride sharing, Grab appears to be popular or aggressive, but the cars tend to be old and drivers tend to cancel the booking very frequently. Uber is not bad w.r.t cancellations but cars are much better.  Majority of the Drivers are able to speak few words of English but never expect any mis understanding or problems because of language. the folks are very professional.  

Great: Hardware, Professionalism, & Cost

Typical hardware is Toyota, or similar and large cars are very popular due to "car is for family". So either the normal street hail taxis or ride sharing, the chances are high to get a new, good vehicle. Indonesians are very friendly people and I never experienced any rude behaviour or a driver trying to demand extra money.

Lastly this is one of the cheapest place to ride in a Mercedes for an hour or so for less than 20 bucks. 

Tips: Plan your travel based on "Traffic". Get a Uber Black or Grab Premium or Silverbird to spend some quality time in calls, chit chat with your friends

  • Thailand
Ugly: Safety, Professionalism, Cost, Availability, Traffic & Communication.

No meter, and expected to pay double is the norm in BKK. If you get a taxi with meter on by default, just pinch yourself to wake up from the dream. Majority of the drivers are not trained properly (guess farmers trying to make some extra money), can't speak or understand English (or pretend), extremely good at taking long routes, and have no change at all or receipts. 

Thailand has one of the worst road mortality rates in the world and combined with lack of training this makes us to worry about the safety. 

I can go on with the negative experiences and unfortunately I do not have a single positive experience to talk here. Even Uber, Grab couldnt make a difference here. 

Average: Cleanliness & Hardware

Majority of the cars are clean enough and new hardware. Especially those that's going to the Airport (was told there is a rule of max 5 years age for the cars going to Airport). 

Great: ??

None IMHO. 

Tips: Uber Black or Grab Premium or Hotel Car (if you can afford..)

  • Malaysia
Ugly: Professionalism & Traffic

Taxis in KL are not that bad actually. Reasonably priced, clean but the drivers can be rude depending on your luck. Rush hour traffic is getting to be close to jakarta/bangkok level of disaster so watch out the schedule, destination. 

Average: Cost, Safety, Cleanliness & Hardware

If there is one market where Uber/Grab changed, then that would be Malaysia. Be it KL or JB or Pengang, the kind of difference Uber/Grab made was enormous. Not only in terms of quality of vehicles, but overall change is great. It's still the same old Perdua or Proton cars with occasional Japanese but the overall quality is much better now. 

Great: Availability & Communication

Taxis are available almost any time of the day. 

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