Taxi drivers are a font of knowledge — be it on the best route to get to your destination, potential delays or what can be done to sort out traffic woes.
I often catch taxis around Auckland so I’ve heard most of the “solutions” to our traffic woes from cab drivers.
Two told me I have to write a story on their solutions for traffic congestion, so here we go:
Driver 1 suggested trucks should be allowed on our roads only at night, to prevent them crowding our motorways during peak hour. He also wanted the introduction of double decker (or flyover) motorways, as in large American cities.
Driver 2 was in favour of the taxing of vehicles that use our motorways during peak time. (Of course he thought taxis would be exempt.)
I’d say 99.9 per cent of the taxi drivers I use have been my own personal talkback host, spouting views on the state of the nation and the state of their industry.
But one driver stood out. He was taking me from Mt Wellington to my central Auckland home on a Friday afternoon when the motorways are just about always jam-packed.
Instead of joining the queues onto the on-ramp, he took me along back roads around Penrose and Onehunga, and zig-zagged around suburban streets, all while playing Santana loudly on his stereo.
A journey that usually would have taken more than an hour on a Friday afternoon took 37 minutes (so the driver informed me as he stopped at my driveway). I was so impressed with his driving (and music choice) that I wondered if he hadn’t carjacked the taxi and had taken me for a joy ride.