After being in one too many rushing taxi cabs I am beginning to think the way cab drivers’s rates are set up is a bit skewed. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a very simple system, and simplicity is a very important value. I think right now it’s 1.40$ per kilometre and 40 cents per minute of waiting time. A cab, while driving, makes more money by driving than he does by waiting, per minute, considering he can drive more than 1 km in a minute (notwithstanding the price of gas). Not only this, but the faster he completes that km, the faster he gets his money and picks up another fare to recklessly speed his way to his destination.
So you have a system in place where cab drivers speed past red lights and drive as fast as possible, occasionally despite the safety of their customers. There have got to be tests to be a cabbie, but let’s be honest – most of them involve knowledge of the city or basic driving reqs, neither of which are that stringent. What if we revamp the system to allow cab drivers who drive more carefully to make more money?
Formula (alpha stage): fare = x / y, where x is the time, in minutes, for a driver to get to his destination, and y is the speed at which he attempts to get there (average km/h, let’s say). All this because a) the longer the distance, the greater the cost, and b) the lower (greater level of caution) the speed is, the more profitable the cab ride is for the driver. The cab driver wants x to be high and y to be low, so he’ll drive slower rather than faster (in principle). If the rider wants to get somewhere faster (thus reducing the profit of the cab driver), the driver may refuse and stay at a careful speed, or the rider may attempt to tip (read: bribe) the driver to compensate for the lower base fare at which the fare will then be calculated. The result of a system like this is that cabbies who go out of their way to provide safe trips get monetarily compensated.
Ideally, we wouldn’t want y to be a simple whole number, like km/h or somesuch, but some sort of calculated denominator based on max/min speeds in an area. You get the point. Whatever, I came up with this in a speeding cab on the way home, gimme a break.