HACKNEY CARRIAGE drivers in Auckland, New Zealand, are demanding the authorities do something after a local woman was called a, “bitch” by an out-of-town tout.
Jess Thompson said she went to the One Love Festival and had tried to hail a taxi for over an hour before a driver stopped and offered to take her 3km for $20. The cabbie then demanded $45 for the journey when two of her friends joined her in the vehicle.
Miss Thompson said:
He tried to use the excuse that there were three of us, so the fare would be more, but that was pretty poor. I told him the agreed fare was $20 and we got into an argument. He then pulled over to the side of the road, called me a “bitch” and told us all to get out of his vehicle.
New Zealand Taxi Federation executive director John Hart said: “I am horrified to hear of what this woman suffered during an incident in which there is no excuse. A meter is the basis of a taxi fare and the customer has the right to turn the meter on.”
Bruce Rainey, spokesman for local firm Taxi Cabs Tauranga, said that Auckland had become a taxi “free for all” since a number of rules and regulations had been relaxed. He said: “There were a lot of taxis here on the weekend of the festival from Hamilton and we saw the same problem happening over similar busy periods. We used to have a tightly regulated market and now we don’t.”