General Question

rexpresso's avatar

Shouldn't taxis turn off their engines when stopped?

Asked by rexpresso (922points) June 4th, 2010

Is there any reason that whenever I’m riding a cab and go to the convenience store and the taxi driver (supposedly) knows he’s going to wait for a while but he keeps the engine running?

Wondering if there is any plausible justification or if I can confidently tell the drivers to turn off their engines while they’re waiting for me.

Because they always keep it running and it confuses me.


Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

WestRiverrat's avatar

With all the electronic equipment in modern taxis, if they want to keep the meter and gps running, they pretty much have to leave the engine running to avoid draining the batteries.

funkdaddy's avatar

Not sure where you’re at, but air conditioning stops working with the engine off as well.

If cabbies consider the cab their place of business then they probably want to keep it comfortable and their customers happy.

You could just suggest it… “Hey, I’m going to be a while, you can shut the car off if you like”

YARNLADY's avatar

The taxis that are required to wait in a specific area at our airport are required to turn off their engines. In front of a hotel event, not so much.

rooeytoo's avatar

I guess if we are going to go totally green about all aspects of life, one would wonder why are you taking a cab to the shop instead of walking, biking or public transporting. If you are not capable of any of these options then I apologize in advance and no disrespect intended.

With regard to the cabbie, I would not sit in a freezing cold car while waiting, I hate cold feet! And there is probably some union regulation that says he is not to leave his car while he has a passenger.

perspicacious's avatar

Ask a taxi driver.

Jack79's avatar

They should. It also gets on my nerves, and I’ve actually asked taxi drivers about this. Nobody has given me a satisfactory answer yet.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Jack79 If the driver is not waiting on a fare that asked to stop and get something, I would agree with you. But if the cabbie is waiting for someone to run an errand, they should be paid for the time. And to be fairly paid for the time, they have to keep the meter running.

Jack79's avatar

@WestRiverrat sorry I meant the engine, not the meter. Especially when they don’t have a fare at all. I’ve also noticed bus drivers doing that – I used to run a hotel and they’d come and unload around 100 people every time, which takes at least 15 mins what with the luggage and all. This often happened at 3–4am, and it was not just the noise of the engine that got annoying, but also the fumes, since they usually run on diesel.

mattbrowne's avatar

This applies to all vehicles, except when it’s extremely hot or extremely cold.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Jack79 Depending on how much electronic equipment they have to run, it may only take 3–5 minutes of running the electronics without the engine on to drain the batteries to the point the taxi won’t start.

My ambulance is equipped with 2 batteries. It only takes 2 minutes of the engine not running with the electronics on to require a jump.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


If taxis were required to shut off their motors whenever they were not moving they would have to begin buying starters (and possibly engine flywheels) in bulk.

More and more taxis in NYC are being replaced with Toyota and Ford hybrids (fine since I’m not driving). The stop and go nature of cab duty is ideal for current hybrid tech.

While idling the huge hybrid battery is plenty to keep electronics and the aircon running.

payal12's avatar

It depends to the electronic equipment. I would agree with you.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther