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COMMENT: There’s Something Wrong With Taxis Combined

COMMENT: There

What’s the point of having an online or telephone booking service when drivers don’t pick up a job they’re supposed to be able to see on their systems as they drive by a person standing at the side of the road?


With Uber or other taxi booking apps, you can see where the cabs are in real time. 


For years I’ve wanted a GPS map that showed me all the vacant taxis, so I could simply tap one of the taxis I wanted – likely the closest – and have it take me to the destination of my choice.


It’s 2014 and Taxis Combined, the dominant taxi company, still does not offer such an incredibly basic service, despite the fact its taxis are equipped with GPS trackers and all manner of devices. 


Given the fact that I rang back a second time to re-book a taxi, and then gave up after five minutes when I saw yet another empty taxi approach (which hadn’t taken my booking, with the driver saying he didn’t get it on his system), I rang 131 008 to do the right thing and cancel the booking so some poor driver that might have taken my booking wasn’t wasting his or her time. 


As the taxi I was in drove my to my destination, I counted FIFTEEN empty taxis in a one kilometre stretch from my home. 


Given my conversations with several drivers this week that business is bad because of the school holidays, you have to wonder, what kind of special rocks does Taxis Combined have in its head?


They must be radioactive rocks or something because FIFTEEN EMPTY TAXIS all DESPERATE for a job were either not interested in my fare or weren’t getting it on their in-car systems. 


I admit, my job was a short one – Neutral Bay to North Sydney, but a job is a job, and who knows who might be waiting at the destination for a taxi?


Given the appallingly bad service I have received from Taxis Combined this morning, given their appallingly bad app that looks like it was developed in a pre-iPhone era, and given its lack of any GPS taxi tracking, there is something seriously wrong at Taxis Combined. 


Uber, Gocatch and all the rest – you’ll get my business next time.