Taxi Drivers are Scum

Update: Well it looks like blocking off one of the busiest intersections paid off. Cabbies get their safety screens as well as other demands. Could it be? The government cares? Either way, it is a positive result for all. Updates at The Age.


No one gives a shit about taxi drivers, at least that’s what Melburnians think. They endure low pay, health problems, drunk customers, and increasing violence. Worst of all it seems for them, is that no one listens. So out of desperation, they have decided to protest on the intersection of Swanston and Flinders St. creating a massive gridlock in town.

But c’mon, you think blocking all tram and vehicular traffic on one of Melbourne’s busiest intersection is the way to win people over? The government and the transport minister don’t care. They don’t care about the choking train system and they don’t care about taxi drivers. They would rather spend $500 million on an unnecessary new ticketing system. It was almost 2 years ago that we reported on Rajneesh Joga, a taxi driver who was killed in similar circumstances to yesterday’s near fatal attack. Bracks didn’t meet with them and all they were asking for was a bit of safety. Two years down the road, nothing has changed and current Transport Minister Lynne Kosky refuses to go down to the protest. At the very least, install the damn safety shields.

What shocks me even more is the general disdain towards taxi drivers. MelbourneManiac, a mostly positive forum had its users posting scathing comments towards taxi drivers.

“Fuck the lot of them, and I hope they all die painfully in a house fire.

No one gives a shit about slimy taxi drivers. The same cunts who ignore road rules whenever they deem it necessary, have no respect for other road users and generally fag up my country.”


“i’ll stop stabbing taxi drivers when they start reading the melways”


And so on and so forth around the blogosphere. I don’t understand all the hate for people who are just trying to give it a go and earn a buck. They are just asking for a little safety in their jobs.


Melbourne Metblogs: a silent yellow vigil

The Age: Kosky says ‘no’ to furious cabbies

Melbourne Maniac: Cabbie demo

Picture by Dean Podmore

6 Comments so far

  1. adrock2xander (mel_john) on April 30th, 2008 @ 2:46 pm

    I had wanted to make a post about this too. But a) I couldn’t be stuffed looking for the last post made on the demonstration in 2006, and b) I knew either Neil or Squirt would make a post on it :O

    But my thoughts on the cabbies:

    Okay I get that they’re International Students, trying to make a living out of driving people around. I was an International Student too, I completely get their situation. New country, new environment, new culture, new people, new attitudes. I GET IT. Sure Kosky ain’t doing shit about the security measures, so why the hell are these International Students, almost exclusively from the Indian subcontinent, STILL seeking employment with cab companies? And thought I don’t condone the harm done to these innocent drivers, the drivers MUST do something about these few points too:

    1) Most cabs operated by Indian subcontinental drivers always stink. I get in the cab and my first instinct is to get out of the cab. But I need to get to Point B quickly so politely, I wind the window down. Perhaps that’s why the driver was stabbed, coz the cab stinks.

    2) Most cabs operated by Indian subcontinental drivers have no fucking clue where they’re going. I get in the cab and they need to stop by side with the Melways; or take my hand and follow my directions; or I end up copping a $26 cab fare from Spencer Street to Brunswick at 3AM in the morning coz the fucking noob driver went towards Footscray instead. I told the driver I refused to pay $26 for the trip as it didn’t cost that much and I’ll give him $20 at most. He ended up begging and saying he needs the money and begging again. I’m a nice guy so I relented and I paid up. Fucker didn’t even thank me. Perhaps that’s why the driver was stabbed, coz the cab driver doesn’t know where the hell he is.

    3) Look, if it’s so bloody dangerous on the roads for these blokes, why the hell are they still driving cabs? Surely the Indian jokes that dot the Australian vernacular aren’t incidental? These guys are intelligent and able-bodied blokes, so why do we only see them driving cabs, operating 24-hour stores or buying/selling phones exclusively from 3 network?

    4) If they’re so hardup for the money, do they think staging a lengthy protest in Melbourne’s busiest junction will serve them good? Think about all the money they’ve lost out on. If the government didn’t do shit back then, why’re they bothering now? Sure they won’t get noticed unless they do something radical, but there’re better ways to get noticed without holding up everybody’s time and money. The world doesn’t revolve around the cab drivers. I wonder if the protest’s still going on. HAS IT GOTTEN THEM ANYWHERE?

    5) This is a public forum so I’m entitled to say what I want. You don’t have to agree with me but at least respect what I’ve to say. If you think I’m racist, then I’ll think the same about you. My wife’s Sri Lankan and my Best Man’s a Punjabi. Go figure.

  2. icekin on April 30th, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

    Reply to adrock2xander:

    1) Okay, maybe some of them stink, but that’s not enough to justify stabbing or even assaulting a person. Have you ever written to the cab company or perhaps even suggested to the driver that he should open the windows once in a while to let fresh air in? Many of them are far more receptive to positive comments than most people think.

    2) Fair enough, a cab driver is supposed to know where he is going. There can be no excuse for that, but still I don’t think it warrants a stabbing. Your point is still not justified.

    3) Its a valid and honest occupation, which someone needs to do. Its not the job itself that’s the problem. Due to rising literacy levels and competition from local employees, combined with the 20 hours a week work limit, International students have difficulty obtaining a job. Employers are generally reluctant to hire international students because of communication difficulties and possibly lack of local referees.

    4) According to the updates at they have achieved what they set out to do.

    5) While some readers may be incited by your comments, I respect your right to voice your opinion though I don’t necessarily agree with everything you have said.

  3. Froosh. Stuff. » Blog Archive » Taxi drivers vs Melbourne (pingback) on May 1st, 2008 @ 12:35 am

    […] This is not so much a comment about the safety of the drivers, but taxi drivers in general.  Inspired by a post over on Melbourne Metblogs. […]

  4. Go go cabbie power « The Life and Times of Chesterfield Spud (pingback) on May 1st, 2008 @ 6:20 pm

    […] this second major attack on a Melbourne cab-driver all Melbourne cabbies stopped work and made a human blockade at the Flinders and Swanston St. intersection outside of Flinders St. Station and the…. From the wee hours of the morning until around 1pm, I think. Oh man, I’m thinking how that […]

  5. 1990 Tram Strike | Melbourne Metblogs (pingback) on May 2nd, 2008 @ 3:26 pm

    […] you thought taxi drivers blocking Flinders & Swanston street was bad, imagine 250 trams parked on all the major city routes along with public buses and […]

  6. 2AM Lockout Protest TODAY | Melbourne Metblogs (pingback) on May 30th, 2008 @ 12:56 pm

    […] international causes (Iraq War, Scientology), local protests can result in change. Only weeks ago, many taxi drivers protested outside Flinders Street Station and successfully got their demands […]

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