Sha Tin to Central - or maybe not
Lake Silver

Out of Service

Picture the scene: it's raining and you are looking for a taxi.  There's one with the "Taxi" light on.  You get closer and notice that it's "out of service".

Maybe the driver is waiting to pick up a passenger who has made a telephone booking; or it could be that he is only interested in a fare to the other side of the harbour; or perhaps he is going off duty.

All of these different things are indicated by putting the "Out of Service" sign on top of the taxi meter.

Surely there must be a better way?  Why can't we have a system that allows taxis to indicate that they are waiting for a passenger and are not available for hire?  

I suppose it's asking too much for officialdom to acknowledge that some taxis only want fares to the other side of the harbour?  Yes, I know that there are a few "cross-harbour" taxi stands, but there aren't enough of them - and how many people take taxis from taxi stands?  


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I agree! And while we're moaning about taxis, what about payment by octopus and/or credit card?

Otherwise they're usually excellent, cheap and plentiful (been to Singapore?) and bi/tri lingual drivers - where else you get that? Certainly not the UK or US where often I play 'guess the language' the driver is speaking.


I'd hate to admit that Singapore taxis have ANYTHING on HK taxis but that is one thing.

The LED indicators on the top of the CityCab taxis (the largest group) can spell out their status. It is green when the taxi is available, flashing the Rego no. When the cab is phone-booked, the sign will go red and say On Call, again flashing the Rego, and when it is hired it will be red and say Hired. The problem is that Green taxis are often only heading in one direction - often to refuel as there are only a few LPG points on the island and the taxis have small tanks to maaintain boot-space.

Jurong? Bishan? No, you fracking bastard, just take me where *I* want to go, that's what taxis are for isn't it?


Well, it would certainly be convenient to pay by Octopus, but taxi drivers would lose twice - the transaction fee to Octopus, and the odd cents when they round up to the next dollar.

And I'm sure Singapore taxis are great - if you can find one.

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