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Kyiv taxi drivers - are they the worst in the world?

 
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Cardinal Synn



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:53 pm    Post subject: Kyiv taxi drivers - are they the worst in the world? Reply with quote

I have to say that in all my years of using taxis in different countries and capital cities, Kyiv taxi drivers are the worst bunch of pus sucking leeches I've experienced. Anywhere.
God help all those football fans who'll be swarming here for Euro 2012.

I use taxis a lot for work and sometimes to get home from work.
Today's sample.
Taxi number 1 - spends the entire journey on the phone conducting some kind of business, then overcharges me.
Taxi number 2 - spends half of the journey on the phone or reading texts, then takes me to the wrong address - claims it was my fault.
Taxi number 3 - Comes to pick me up but goes to the wrong address, so he turns up ten minutes late - tries to overcharge me because of "waiting time" even though I was the one who had to wait! So, I refuse to give him more than the agreed price, he locks the doors and tells me the price has just gone up again. Charming. Anyway I finally got out of his car alive, and without paying the parasite any more than the agreed sum.

In my home city in the UK, taxi drivers have to take "the knowledge" - a test to prove that they know the city well enough to drive customers around it. In Kyiv, I think they take the "Anti-Knowledge", a special test to show they can text and drive without crashing too much, that they have absolutely no idea where they are at any time, and that they know how to rip foreigners off and be effectively rude to them, so that they never want to return. They can also do a special test on how not to say hello or goodbye, but that's optional.

I've been in Kyiv for three years now, and I should be used to it...but I'm not.
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Apollo1



Joined: 18 Apr 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are definitely the worst I have encountered also!! As a foreigner in Kiev, you are most likely to be extorted by landlords, taxi drivers, the pickup you slept with the night before, and the police - in that order. You also left out the taxi drivers who never have any change. One observation I would add is that it seemed to me most drivers would act as if they did not understand any English but in most cases knew a fair amount. If in doubt and you are quoted 200 hr for a 1.5 km fare, try chuckling and telling them to "go f* themselves". This will usually bring out the best of their English knowledge.)))

When I was in Kiev and in the street, I often found it better to walk a bit and attempt to flag a taxi down. The highest rates will be found in areas where the drivers congregate (hotels, near the McD's on Maydan, etc). Walking even a little ways will reduce a fare by 50% in my experience. If you meet a few good ones that give you reasonable fare prices, remember to tip them and to get their mobile number. I kept a list of 8-10 drivers and seldom had problems or felt extorted for taxi service. If your language ability is decent, ordering a taxi and getting a quote is cheaper yet. I remember one night going to Nivky from Maydan for 120 hr and returning to my door for 35 hr.
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SarahLundt



Joined: 15 May 2010
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys come and try Turkey!
Highest auto death rate per capita in UN records!
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Cardinal Synn



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What exactly has Turkey and it's high accident statistics got to do with Kyiv Taxi drivers?
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ddraig64



Joined: 10 Jul 2010
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:29 am    Post subject: Drivers are not the worst. Reply with quote

I spent only a few days in Kiev, 2 taxi rides, one from the metro station to my flat, the other from the flat to the airport. Both were unofficial taxis, on the first one, my friend that I met in Kiev was with me, she negotiated the price and the man was friendly, and chatted with her, and tried with me. My Russian was non existent. She also negotiated my pickup on the Monday morning for a price of 200 about half the usual price, especially for tourists. A different driver picked me up, and he was very early, almost an hour, I wasn't sure if he was waiting for me or not, but eventually we did get that sorted out. The 30 minute ride to the airport was uneventful and at least the radio played a mix of English songs. After I paid and tipped him an extra 100, said "Spasibo." To which he smiled and returned the thanks. The same ride in London cost my brother twice, before the tip. I found the street drivers were worse. The long straight streets just beg to be raced. The cops looked as if they really didn't approve, but thier older cars were certainly not going to catch them.
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Cardinal Synn



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

200, half the usual price for a taxi from the city to the airport?

I recently flew out from Borispol - cost of taxi from Kyiv to airport was 180.
Yesterday, I came back. Taxi cost 180 again. This was one of the more reputable firms in Kyiv.
I have no idea where you got the idea that 400 UAH was the normal price, but really, it's not.
You tipped the driver an extra 100? Generous.

Anyway, glad you had a good experience here visiting your friend.
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ddraig64



Joined: 10 Jul 2010
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:44 am    Post subject: Taxis Reply with quote

Well, Maybe her negotiated price wasn't that good after all. But someone there did tell me that if your Russian isn't great, the price can inflate if you do not haggle. But I did love Kyiv and hope to return to teach soon. Although I will say the bus ride from the airport to the main train/metro station was only 50 for both of us. Very nice coach type bus too, not usual public transport.
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jpvanderwerf2001



Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Posts: 1078
Location: New York

PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cardinal Synn wrote:
What exactly has Turkey and it's high accident statistics got to do with Kyiv Taxi drivers?


It was you who asked the original question, and he/she responded.

By the way, I lived in Ukraine for two years, and I can tell you that Kyivan taxi drivers are not even close to the worst in the world.
Annoying? Sometimes yes. The worst? No.
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Cardinal Synn



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jpvanderwerf2001 wrote:
Cardinal Synn wrote:
What exactly has Turkey and it's high accident statistics got to do with Kyiv Taxi drivers?


It was you who asked the original question, and he/she responded.

By the way, I lived in Ukraine for two years, and I can tell you that Kyivan taxi drivers are not even close to the worst in the world.
Annoying? Sometimes yes. The worst? No.


Yes, I was asking about taxis, not cars in general. She/he made no mention of taxis when she/he posted that 6 months ago.

When exactly did you spend you're two years here? I'm guessing it was several years ago.
So, do tell. Where are the worst?
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jpvanderwerf2001



Joined: 02 Oct 2003
Posts: 1078
Location: New York

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say that taxis and drivers, in principle, have a strong correlation, no?

I lived in Ukraine from 2001-2003, and have been back several times in the meantime to visit (last time in 2009). Why? Do you suppose that driving styles have changed there considerably in the past several years?
List of countries I've been to with worse taxi drivers:
* India;
* Egypt;
* Moldova;
* Turkey;
* Cambodia.
In fact, I think that Russian taxi drivers are far more reckless than Ukrainian ones.
Most of the bad driving I saw in Ukraine was directly related to road conditions and crappy cars, not the taxi drivers themselves (although the drivers are a product of said factors); this could be fairly said for the other countries I mentioned, too, of course.

Hey, I'm not saying Ukrainian taxi drivers are great--they're not, I was just pointing out that they're not the worst, in my experience.
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ancient_dweller



Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 415
Location: Woodland Bench

PostPosted: Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was in Kiev and found the taxi drivers to be fairly reasonable by global standards. i had to take one to borispol and it was fine, the driver even tried to speak to me, i answered some questions in pigeon russian, which prompted the odd chuckle. be nice to them and don't be so angry when they try to overcharge. if they say a joke amount, then they're testing you because you're a foreigner. just say the right amount after and smile.
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Cardinal Synn



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 581

PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My original post said nothing about driving style. It was only about the attitude of taxi drivers, so no, it has nothing to do with car drivers in general.

Anyway, who cares? I was having a rant months ago and I'm over it now. I got it off my chest.
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ancient_dweller



Joined: 12 Aug 2010
Posts: 415
Location: Woodland Bench

PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fair doos
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coledavis



Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1837

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iīm inclined to support Sarahīs comment. Taxis killing people make them worse than taxis merely giving your wallet an airing. Although if it comes to specifics, i.e. taxis as opposed to driving statistics in general, then my vote goes to Novosibirsk Oblast in Siberia. Iīve seen them driving straight at people quite legitimately and cautiously traversing zebra crossings. "Itīs all right," they say. And the general driving isnīt a lot better. I saw one perfectly legit pedestrian swept off her feet in the not at all romantic sense.
And this doesnīt preclude attempts to raise fares exponentially as a favour to foreign guests.
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