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Cell Phone Rant: Is It OK to Talk in a Taxi?

OK, Cell Phone Rant group members, I've got a sticky subject on cell phone etiquette. It's pretty cut and dry where not to be on your cell phone, lest you're judged as rude or worse, icky — the drive-thru, ordering food, and yes, the bathroom — but are there places where you're receiving a service that it's OK?

I'm talking specifically about taxi cabs. Live in a city, and you're bound to take a few rides. The thought came to me the other night, when I got in a cab alone and had to let my boyfriend know that I was safely on my way home.

I kept it short because I wasn't alone inside the car, but besides being physically there to drive me, the driver didn't try to engage me in conversation. Our only exchanges were when I got in the car, to tell him where I needed to go, and at the end, to thank him when I paid.

To see what I think, just


So I'm conflicted. While I would never want to discount anyone's importance by talking on my cell phone as if they weren't there, it's not as if I'm ignoring him or making him wait for my instructions or payment. But on the other hand, I'm still uncomfortable having longer than a quick, informative call.

However, I know many people who use the time in the back of a cab to use their phone to catch up on returning calls or pass the time.

So, tell me what you think . . . is talking on your phone in a taxi cab kosher, or just as rude as anywhere else?

(P.S. Got a good gem to rant about? Join the Cell Phone Rant group now!)


Join The Conversation
PricillaMartin PricillaMartin 8 years
I don't think it's a problem to talk in a taxi as long as it's about something that is not personal or offensive. I talk all the time most everywhere, I have a straight talk phone with unlimited talk, text and 30mb of data for $45 per month and I intend to get my money's worth. I'm lucky because Straight Talk is on Verizon's network nationwide so I never lose calls or have problems with reception while driving.
SandyTheBaglady SandyTheBaglady 8 years
PrettyWarrior: Talking on a cell phone while in a taxi is extremely permissible. You don't know who you are getting into a car with. There have been accounts when a taxi driver will abuse a passenger's vulnerability. Very smart move on your behalf. It probabley wouldn't hurt to ask the cab driver his or her name when you get into their car. When you are on the phone, make it a point to tell the person you are talking to the driver's name, what company the taxi is with, and the number of the taxi. Not only does this help ensure your safety, but in case you leave something behind you can always get back in touch with the driver. As far as other conversation with the driver, his or her job discription is to be a driver. Conversation is not list, albeit it behooves the driver to be friendly and courtestious eg. helping with baggage etc.
Baby-Girl Baby-Girl 8 years
I'll talk on my phone if I feel like it. 95% of the time I get in a cab the driver is on the phone talking to someone else anyway.
karen-zoo karen-zoo 8 years
There's nothing wrong with that.
Neural Neural 8 years
totally okay
simplysteen simplysteen 8 years
NOT rude at all. I travel frequently, and whenever I'm in New York, the cab driver will ask where I'm headed and that's it. I'm normally not alone, but even with friends or family they we will either have a conversation not including the cab driver. I think it's the same concept as having a conversation on your phone, still not including them.
eicmarie eicmarie 8 years
I think its okay to talk on your cellphone in a cab. Unless your conversation would be distracting, I feel okay talking on my cell in a cab.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
its absolutely fine!
Angela123 Angela123 8 years
I'm with Shannon...half the time in DC the cabbies are on their phone anyway!! Plus I'm a fairly awkward person, so there's very little chance of me striking up a convo with my cab driver even if I'm not on the phone. I dont think it's rude at all.
shannon_xo shannon_xo 8 years
haha i live in Toronto and most of the cabbies are also on their cell.
PinkNC PinkNC 8 years
I don't see a problem with talking in a taxi, as long as you're not loud about. I mean give the driver some respect by not talking so loud and annoying that it disturbs him. Again, no, I don't see a problem with talking on the phone in a taxi.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
I definitely think that talking on the phone in a cab is ok. I live in London and I know a lot of people who conduct practically business meetings in cabs. That would probably be annoying, but calling your bf to let him know you're ok? Totally fine.
neko neko 8 years
I think being in the phone in a cab is different than being on the phone at say, a restaurant. Usually cab drivers (in my experience) will drive in silence, or have their radio or music on. If the cabbie is talking though, and I need to send a message to someone, I usually text it.
PinkLizzie PinkLizzie 8 years
In Montreal most of the cabbies are on cell phones anyway. I'd feel no qualms about conducting the sort of "I'll be there in 10" calls, but I definitely wouldn't be discussing the intimate details of my life.
amers230 amers230 8 years
i wouldn't chat about anything super personal (hello TMI!!) on your phone call, but i don't think it's bad to talk on your cell while in a taxi. unless the driver wants to talk to you, like the others have said.
ChicBookFiend ChicBookFiend 8 years
I think it's fine to use your cell in a cab. Unless you get one of those chatty drivers who want to converse with you.
suziryder suziryder 8 years
I agree with everyone here, most cab drivers aren't interested in conversation or are on the phone themselves. I don't think it's rude to talk on the phone in the taxi if you're by yourself - you're not engaging socially with the taxi driver. I'd limit the conversation to non-uber-personal things, though, but that's just me.
macgirl macgirl 8 years
I don't have any problems with this. I have only ever had one cab driver want to chat so in that case it might be rude. Otherwise they have their own thing going on.
lovely2190 lovely2190 8 years
i def. think that it is ok to talk in a taxi on your cell phone. Like you said it isn't like you are going to be having a convo with the taxi driver. However if you do feel uncomftable and the convo can wait then i would say wait.
iamangiepooh iamangiepooh 8 years
I live in NYC and I have probably only had one conversation with a taxi driver, and I've been here for over 1 year. I don't think it's rude to talk on the phone because the taxi drivers are busy swerving in and out of lanes, and sometimes they are talking on their cell phones too! Or they are listening to music, and I also like to watch the little TV in the back so there's really no room for conversation!
Zivanod Zivanod 8 years
Whenever I am in a cab, the driver is barely able to hear where I am going 'cause he is gabbing away on his cell phone so I don't think there is anything wrong with being on the cell phone yourself.
prettywarrior prettywarrior 8 years
Talking on a cell phone in a taxi is definitely okay, but maybe that's just because I live in NYC and every cabbie is on his cell phone, too!
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