A CORK taxi driver has adopted a “no-nonsense” approach to fare-dodging after catching passengers trying to make a run for it.
William Griffin, an owner and driver with Blackrock Taxis, has revealed one such occasion to the Evening Echo.
He explained: “One passenger told me she would have to go inside the house to get the money for the fare. She went inside, turned the lights off and never came back out. I was absolutely fuming.
“This was something she was probably doing every week so I wasn’t going to let her get away with it. I stayed there and knocked on the door. I could see her in the hallway.”
William was eventually given the chance to confront his client.
“She finally opened the door and told me that she couldn’t find the money. She then asked me if I could drive her to the ATM on the Northside and I obliged.
“For me, it wasn’t about the money, it was more the principle.
“When we got there she tried to tell me that the card wasn’t working. I told her she could get back into the car.”
However, the passenger soon discovered that William was one step ahead.
“I drove her to the Bridewell and told her to explain the situation to the sergeant. I can’t say enough about how good they were about it,” he said.
“They took the situation very seriously and verbally reprimanded the woman for wasting my time and money.
“They asked her permission to check the card and found that there was money on it after all. It was thanks to the Gardaí that I eventually got my fare.
“Gardaí are the only help available to taxi drivers in situations like this. I’ve always found them more than helpful.”
William’s encounters with fare dodgers haven’t been confined to strangers.
“There was one guy waiting for a cab whose face was covered in blood. He wasn’t so much a friend of mine but he was a friend of the family.
“I could tell he was under the influence. However, I didn’t want to leave him in the condition he was in as I knew no other taxi driver would take him.
“He did a runner too but didn’t expect to come face-to-face with me at a wedding three months later. When I confronted him about it, he was mortified.”
William’s drivers have also experienced their fair share of unsavoury behaviour.
“One of our drivers was approached by a well-dressed, blonde woman. She sat in the car and asked if he could take her to Hillbillies.
“He was confused as they were already on the Grand Parade. He asked her to get out of the car. It was only when she was gone that he discovered she had urinated on the seat. In that short time, she had used the seat the relieve herself. She was gone before he could even get her to pay the fine. The behaviour of some people can be mind-boggling.”
William’s revelations come just days after Cork Taxi Council spokesman Bobby Lynch spoke out against passengers vomiting in his cab in an article published in the Evening Echo.