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Woner why it's hard to get a cab in London?

Woner why it's hard to get a cab in London?

Oct 5th, 2007, 05:40 AM
  #1  
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Woner why it's hard to get a cab in London?

Interesting article from Bloomberg today on London cabs.

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Big-Brained London Cabbies Balk at Dumbed Down `Knowledge' Test

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Henry Ashdown knows the quickest way from the British Museum in central London to Buckingham Palace. The route involves driving along 21 winding streets and passing four notable buildings.

It took Ashdown four years to memorize the 37,000 roads and landmarks required to win the keys to one of the city's iconic black cabs -- one year longer than it takes most students to earn an undergraduate degree from Oxford University.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/3ybhdk
jsmith is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 02:14 AM
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'The knowledge' only applies for black cabs though - the ones you can hire on the street. Any idiot can become a mini-cab driver (one you have to book).
nona1 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 02:32 AM
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ira
 
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>The fact that most testing is done in face-to-face interviews with current drivers may deter younger candidates and ethnic minorities, the London Assembly and the Chamber of Commerce have said in reports on the industry.<

What about sex, class and gender?

ira is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 02:36 AM
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Do people really think it's hard to get a cab in London? Not in my experience (and I live south of the river - where cabbies famously won't go)
audere_est_facere is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 03:17 AM
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I've never had a problem getting a black cab in London.
Carrybean is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 03:31 AM
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"The fact that most testing is done in face-to-face interviews with current drivers may deter younger candidates and ethnic minorities"

What a inane presumption about young people and whatever "ethnic minorities" is meant to mean.

I'm a member of an ethnic minority, and was young once. Face to face interviews have never put me off: the only people they deter are inarticulate sociopaths.

And the fewer of them we have driving our cabs the better.

This claptrap is like calling for the abolition of driving tests because they discriminate against bad drivers.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 03:41 AM
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"I had that enoch Powell in the back of my cab once." innit
audere_est_facere is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 04:53 AM
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I was wondering about that too. I've never had a problem , even at 6 AM flagging down a black cab.
jody is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 05:08 AM
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HKP
 
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Mind sharing with us how London cabbies get their job? Obvsiously there's a test and an interview, but do they have to pay a special fee (a) for the license and (b) for registration of the official cab? Is a cabby the owner of his(her) cab or are fleets owned by companies, or both?

Sorry if this is common knowledge but haven't (sadly) been in London in a very long time. For comparison, in NYC, there's a hefty fee for a 'medallion' that permits a car to be registered as a cab and driven for hire, in addition to the cost of the test, the special driver's license, and the vehicle itself. Few cabbies own their own vehicles, and if they do, they're probably a 'gypsy' cab of dubious legitimacy and knowledge (and ethics).
HKP is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 05:25 AM
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There's a pack on "how to be a cab driver" at the regulator's site (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/businessandpar...hire/1402.aspx)

Most of this refers to the system for black cabs ("hackney carriages"), but there's a slimmed down version for licensed minicab drivers.

Drivers of black cabs rent them from companies or own the cabs themselves. As far as I'm aware, none are employed by cab companies: every driver I've ever talked to is self-employed.

There's no system of trading permits as in New York. Rationing is by skill: anyone who passes the tests can ply for hire. It's not really true that passing takes longer than an undergraduate degree, since most wannabe cabbies do the knowledge in their spare time, and have a job while they're learning. Still, with British undergraduates allegedly doing less than 30 hours a week study (a several hundredfold increase on what we did in my day, but these days we're all supposed to be workaholics), it probably IS true that it takes more hours of study to get a London cabdriver's licence than to get a First at Oxford.

Both academic backgrounds share a near-identical ability to create robust insights into everything without wasting energy on acquiring any supporting data.
flanneruk is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 06:20 AM
  #11  
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"Both academic backgrounds share a near-identical ability to create robust insights into everything without wasting energy on acquiring any supporting data."

LOL
HKP is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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There is an obvious difference though: A cabby is employable.
audere_est_facere is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 02:00 PM
  #13  
HKP
 
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Is there a deodorant prohibition for cabbies in London as there is in NYC?
HKP is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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They're in a separate compartment. As, from their point of view, are the customers - which can be equally welcome to them sometimes!
PatrickLondon is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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<<< There is an obvious difference though: A cabby is employable. >>>

And a cabby knows everything about the world
alanRow is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 02:46 PM
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Is there a deodorant prohibition for cabbies in London as there is in NYC?

Absolutely not! London cabbies are the best in the world (not that I've been in a cab everywhere in the world). Half the time, a taxi ride turns into an informative tour.

Second place, Chicago.
Grassshopper is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 03:08 PM
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I know Flanner doesn't think much of this series, but there's a fascinating look at the training process for becoming a London cabbie in "21 Up". Tony, the combative Cockney who wanted to be a jockey, ends up becoming a cabbie instead. You see him riding all over London on a scooter, with his A-Z propped up in front of him, learning the streets. You can still see people doing this today.

As a result, London cabbies are indeed the best anywhere. They actually know how to get places. I've had cabbies in New York who appeared to have never been in a motor vehicle before -- driving on the sidewalk, etc.
fnarf999 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 03:17 PM
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Fnarf, I loved that series. Was able to get it from the start from Netflix. Fascinating.
Carrybean is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 07:06 PM
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I'm waiting for the latest 7UP programme - I think someone is pushing it down the queue. :-?
alya is offline  

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