So if you haven’t heard my story yet then this is what happened to me last Saturday after the Paspaley Polo at Langley Park in the city. I was on Terrace Road near the Crown Plaza around 7pm trying to hail down a taxi. It was pretty busy but after about 15 mins and a lot of waving…success! The driver had his window down and with a motion of his hand he beckoned me over signaling his taxi was available. I crossed the road, got into the taxi and said to the driver that I’d like to go to Bayswater so it’d be best to do a U-turn up ahead and go down Plain Street. He looked in the rear vision mirror and said, “No. I don’t want to go in that direction. You’ll have to get out”.
WHAT??!! I was gobsmacked. And then pissed off. Since when can taxi drivers NOT take reasonable paying passengers… ummm…home???!! Not only is it their JOB (no really, I’m not being facetious. It is) but it’s also dangerous and unacceptable to leave people out on the street, at night, without any other mode of transport to get home. Now I catch a lot of taxi’s and I know there are great taxi drivers in Perth who would never do this (I’ve met heaps) so I don’t want to condemn an entire industry BUT seriously…I had to ask the question.
How many people have been told to get out of a taxi because their suburb is too far away or the taxi driver doesn’t want to travel in their direction? Well, lots apparently. Here are just a few of the many responses I received on twitter:
Ben O’Shea from The West’s Inside Cover followed my incident up by asking on twitter if mine was a rare occurrence or if others in Perth had similar experiences with taxis.
Channel 9 asked me to tell my story and I did so ONLY because it seems to be a really big problem in Perth. I shouldn’t need to defend myself. But (not surprisingly) I’ve had a lot of abuse on twitter from people who think I’m being a bitch to taxi drivers. Well for the record I’M BLOODY NOT! People in Perth are being refused taxi’s regularly. It’s a fact. For no other reason than they live in an outer suburb (Kalamunda, Scarborough) or the driver doesn’t want to take a short fare.
I also had a chat to Paul Murray’s on 6PR during his Drive show. You can take a listen here:
And Channel 7 covered the story as well. You can see it here.
The feedback I’ve received through social media has been overwhelming and although I’m copping the usual criticism and abuse for speaking out (the haters will hate) I’m glad I did speak out. If young men and women are doing the right thing by not drinking and driving home after a night out then there MUST be a safe and reliable alternative mode of transport available to get them home safely.
And to everyone who has offered their support for speaking out I’d just like to say a big thank you.