London’s iconic black cabs, with their friendly drivers who actually know where they are going, are ranked best in the world, while New York and Parisian taxi drivers are the rudest, according to an annual taxi survey.
The survey by travel website hotels.com found London taxis, despite being the most expensive, beat rivals across the globe to head the list for the third consecutive years, scoring a total of 59 percent in votes on several categories by travellers.
London taxi drivers were voted both friendliest and most knowledgeable. Drivers in the English capital must pass a rigorous examination called ‘The Knowledge’ to earn their taxi licence.
Bob Oddy, general secretary of the London Taxi Drivers Association, said: “I’m confident that the vigorous Knowledge of London training which our drivers are required to undertake is the bedrock of our success.”
“It’s great to hear that London has won the best taxi vote for the third year running,’ said Hotels.com communications director Alison Couper.
“A friendly, knowledgeable taxi driver helps form a positive first impression and they are most definitely an important part of any country’s tourism industry,” she added.
New York’s yellow taxis came second in the survey, scoring 27 percent which was up 10 percentage points from last year even though Manhattan’s cab drivers tied with Parisian taxi drivers as the rudest. However, travellers said New York had the most available taxis.
“Travelling by taxi is one of the first experiences that many travellers have upon arrival in a new city. In fact, the research found that cabs are by far the most popular method of travelling from the airport to their hotel,” a spokesman for hotels.com said in a statement.
Cabbies in Rome were voted the worst drivers in the world with almost one in 10 travellers thinking the Italian capital had the world’s worst taxi drivers when it came to the quality of driving.
The global poll scored city based taxis for their levels of cleanliness, value, quality of driving, knowledge of the area, friendliness, safety and availability.
Rounding out the top five were Tokyo with a total score of 26 percent, Berlin with 17 percent, and Bangkok famed for its tuk-tuks scoring 14 percent.
Madrid’s taxis were ranked sixth in the poll, followed by Copenhagen and Dublin with 11 percent and Frankfurt and Paris with 10 percent.
Taxis in Sydney fell short of the top 10, scoring badly in the areas of value for money, availability and knowledge of the area.