Search This Blog

Friday, September 15, 2023

The Knowledge of London - Test for Cab Drivers

Aloha Everyone,

The two of us have encountered Uber, Lyft, taxi and tour bus drivers who seemed clueless as to streets and neighborhoods in New York City and Los Angeles. Many rely on navigation apps on their iPhones. Some drivers are not only new to their jobs, but new to the area. Often English is not their primary language.  

To avoid any miscommunication, J.J. and I write down our destination on a sheet of paper and give it to the driver. Unfortunately delays due to wrong turns are expected. On one of our rides, the driver blatantly drove the wrong way on a one way street.

When I mentioned our unhappy experiences of taking a taxi, Uber or Lyfts to our son, Jeff, he shared with me an article about the Knowledge of London. The knowledge tests are mandatory exams to become a London taxi driver.  

The test has three components. The Geographical Test which is a written test that covers the layout of London, including the names of around 25,000 streets, 100,000 landmarks within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross. 

The Fares Test covers the candidate’s knowledge of the taxi fares for different rides.

A driving test referred to as The Practical Test is when the candidate is required to navigate their way around London by memory. Absolutely no relying on GPS.

Some sources say that it could take 4 years to pass the Knowledge Test to become a London Cabbie. It is like getting a graduate degrees. One needs to focus and devote time and energy to pursue your dream.

Aloha -- Cathi