December 20, 2004
An idea for Nice (and Athens) taxis?

The number of times Southern French cabbies have tried to scam myself and colleagues is criminally high. Generally, if you are taking a cab from Nice Airport to either the city centre or westbound toward Antibes/Sophia Antipolis and if your accent is detectable when stuttering your destination in tourist-French, rest assured the driver will try his best to scam you (honorable exceptions exist, but they're the minority).

Generally, the driver will hide his meter with his armrest and even if you catch an occational glance at it while on your way, the final amount will always 'inexplicably' run up a much higher than expected total.

Maybe London's new initiative to force drivers on to using machine printed receipts would be the way to go in those regions where drivers are known to screw you (London not included; the drivers here are generally exceptionally knowledgeable and correct with their routes and fares). Many cities in Norway, and if I remember correctly Helsinki, Finland, have receipts printed by default, with (GPS-based) To and From destinations, total kilometres, time and amount printed on it. Try explaining a 50 Euro charge from Nice airport to Biot with that!

See: Ken [Linvingstone] to halt blank taxi receipts (via Londonist)

(the reference to Athens in the header is from my holidays before the Olympics where drivers would also creatively manipulate their meters to increase their takings form unknowing tourists; this is firmly warned against in guidebooks, but they got me anyway, the bastards...)

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