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Swiss taxis rated "good" despite blips

A study has shown Swiss city taxi drivers tend to do a good job although some flout the rules.

This content was published on October 6, 2011 - 07:42
swissinfo.ch and agencies

Touring Club Switzerland carried out tests in Geneva and Zurich as part of a study of taxis in 22 European cities. Inspectors looked at the state of taxis, driver professionalism and their willingness to follow passengers’ requested routes.

Geneva and Zurich taxis were rated “good” and “satisfactory” by the investigators, ranking 12th and 15th place. Drivers were polite, helping passengers with luggage and listening to their requests. Meters were correctly started and finished for fares, and almost all taxis offered the chance to pay by credit card.

Geneva taxis were noted for their knowledge of addresses and their clean cars. Most Zurich drivers spoke English and there was a wide choice of taxis in the city.

But some exceptions cropped up in both cities. In Geneva, one driver took a fare on a route 25 per cent longer than necessary. Two drivers asked for an extra SFr1.5 ($1.62) for carrying laptops despite it not being listed, and another two used their mobile phones while driving. Seven drivers did not fill out receipts correctly. Another seven could not speak English.

In Zurich, no driver filled out a receipt correctly, two broke traffic rules by going through a red light and using a mobile phone. One fare was taken on a route 68 per cent longer than necessary. 

Around 20 drivers were tested in each city. The tests were carried out as part of Euro Test, a pan European consumer testing programme, with examiners checking routes several times and comparing them against GPS suggestions. Barcelona had the best taxi service and Ljubljana had the worst.

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