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Taxi haters rate drivers around the world

Originally published in The Age (Melbourne, Australia), 3 October 2009

Call him a cab expert


How do you get from airport to hotel after a long-haul flight without being taken for a ride?

It is the question Canadian brothers Todd and Steve Romaine often asked themselves while travelling overseas, especially after handing over fistfuls of money to taxi drivers.

Todd says their arrival at Bangkok Airport in 2006 was the spark for IHateTaxis.com, a website devoted to information about ground transport from airports around the world: by bus, train, bike, limousine and, yes, taxi.

"At midnight we caught a taxi and quickly realised that the taxi driver had doubled the real fare and was not budging on negotiating as the arriving hordes of gullible tourists would pay almost anything to get shuttled to their respective hotels after a long flight," Todd says.

"After 20 minutes of failed negotiations and being sleep deprived, we conceded to paying the extorted amount. We realised at this point if more tourists knew the going rates, the scams and other available ground transportation options at the airport, the more empowered they would be."

The website profiles 225 airports worldwide and has maps, currency conversions, current weather conditions, safety tips, tout etiquette and links to official airport websites.

"The traveller can confirm options, prices and scams [on their mobile phone] at the same time they are waiting for their bag off the carousel," Todd says.

For the record, Todd and Steve don't hate taxis. "We are just attempting to even the playing field," Todd says.

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-news/taxi-haters-rate-drivers-around-the-world-20091001-gcxi.html

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