My dad used to drive taxis for a short while and he once gave a man a free ride because the first thing he said upon getting in the taxi was "follow that car". My dad always wanted someone to say it to him and was overjoyed. Source
I got the story first hand a couple of days ago from the tuk tuk (rickshaw) driver himself who was asked to follow someone.
It all started when someone jumped into the guy's tuk tuk and asked him to follow another tuk tuk that was a few kilometers hundred meters ahead. The tuk tuk driver said that he followed the other tuk tuk without asking for an explanation and when the tailed tuk tuk stopped in a fairly secluded place he notice a middle-aged man step out with a child of 5 or 6. The passenger on our protagonist's tuk tuk then related the story of his following the other tuk tuk to him. The passenger, a good samaritan, was walking in a marketplace a few minutes earlier when he overheard a suspicious conversation that went on between the kid and the guy, involving the kid 'wanting to go to home' because 'you (the middle-aged man) wouldn't get me the bicycle'. The tuk tuk driver got off the rickshaw and headed for the guy, who left the boy alone to go for a piss. He then interrogated him with the good samaritan, and in the fashion of a true pedophile, the middle-aged man gave an incoherent account of his relationship with the boy and kept stumbling over his own words.
It later turned out that the middle-aged man lured the kid out of his hometown with the promise to buy him a bicycle and took him over to a different city all together to be secluded with him.
TL;DR: A tuk tuk driver and his passenger followed a pedophile with a young boy across the city and stopped him before he could do the deed. Source
I'm not a cab driver, but I did make this request once. My fraternity was doing an Amazing Race-type thing in Manhattan when I was in college and my team was neck and neck with another. We'd all finished a challenge simultaneously and the other guys stole a cab from us. Another pulled up and we rushed into it shouting, "Follow that cab!" The driver's reaction was, "No, no, no. Whatever this is, no. Get out." Source
On my second day as a taxi driver, a guy jumped in the front seat and said, "I need to get to the Courtyard Marriott as fast as possible!" I just said ok and started driving as fast as I could. I suddenly realized we were only a block away. When we got there about 15 seconds later, he jumped out, threw a $20 bill at me, and said, "my friend is trapped in the elevator."
I saw the firetrucks outside the building. I'm not really sure what he could have done to help, but hey, he's definitely a good friend.
Edit: funny that my highest rated comment is one of my least interesting taxi stories.
Edit 2: since this has been so popular, I'll share.
Once, I had a guy get in who said he was looking for his friend. He kept telling me to slow down as we drove through Waikiki so he could check if different people were the friend he was looking for. After a minute, I figured out he wasn't looking for a specific person, he was just fishing.
We drove around for a while, got the meter up to around $25. From time to time he would get out, look at someone, and then get back in the cab. I can't imagine what those people were thinking.
Eventually, he saw someone, said "I think that's him," (still maintaining the pretense) then got out. After two-and-a-half years, I still remember the conversation.
Rando guy: Hi!
P: Are you gay?
R: Yes I am!
P: You want to go to my hotel?
TL;DR: I unwittingly assisted a random hookup for $30, never found out if everyone involved made it out alive.
Two separate stories with a very similar ending:
I barely see people at all when they get in, so I often forget what they even look like by the time they get out. One person I picked up was just a random 20-ish woman who flagged me down, the other was a guy in a big group in Waikiki on Halloween. In both cases, I had a really long, really interesting conversation. The girl was going to the Coast Guard base, about half an hour away, the guy and his friends wanted to go to McDonald's.
The girl and I talked about all the food we miss from the mainland: Chick-fil-a, Zaxby's, etc. The guy and I talked for a long time about rap and hip-hop. All his friends went into the McDonald's to talk to some people, he stayed in the cab because he didn't want me to think they were running off on me. We sat in the drive-through for a long time. I'm not super well educated on rap, but I know enough to hold up a good conversation. We really got into it too, analyzing modern trends vs. classic rap, discussing who the great lyricists are and who was just good at putting together the pure music.
Eventually the other friends bailed and he asked me to drive him home, five minutes away. Also eventually, we got to the gate of the base. In both cases, I turned around to get payment. In both cases, the passengers was wearing a very cute strapless dress. For the guy, the shock was that the person I had just had a really deep, involved discussion with was an apparently very straight man in a cute dress. For the girl, the funny part was that her entire right breast was completely outside of her dress. I thought really hard about whether the bigger embarrassment would be me pointing out her most likely unintended partial nudity or her later realizing I saw it and didn't say anything. I saw that the guard at the gate was a woman, so I just didn't say anything.
For both fares I got a very enjoyable conversation and a surprise that entertained me for the rest of the night, also a good tip.
TL;DR: just read, it's funny. Source
Not a taxi driver but a passenger.
I got out off a taxi after a night out and went to my door. After I got inside I realised I'd dropped my phone in the cab. It was a black can do I didn't have a number to call.
Que me running back out to the high road, spotting what I assume is my cab caught at some lights. I run down the road until there's another black cab coming along in the same direction the first cab left.
So I exhausted myself shouting and flagging down this one down, also running across and down the road to catch him, before jumping in and asking him to follow the other one. I quickly explained and he was really helpful. I couldn't remember anything like the cab company or the license plate, just that I'd recognise the driver. But the guy still chased the cab that I roughly assumed was mine.
We were drinking along for five minutes and we kept catching sight of the cab ahead, just always one set of lights ahead.
Then several other taxis began to appear as we approached a main intersection. I lost the one we were following in the bundle of what seemed like 10 taxis, but was probably closer to 3 with me panicking.
We started to pull up beside them, with me leaning out the window trying desperately to see the drivers.
And like magic he was the first one we drove by! The other taxis were somehow in front. We drove up beside him at the lights and I shouted to the driver, who recognised me.
He pulled in and I got my phone back. The new cab dropped me home and asked for a paltry amount since he hadn't actually started the meter. Was so happy I just gave him a big tip. Then I got home and had a minor freak out that the adrenaline had delayed.
Overall 8/10 but would not do again. Source
I feel that this is one of those posts that will get upvote a lot, but with little to no responses.
However, though I am not a taxi driver, I feel that I can contribute to the atmosphere of peace and love with this story.
My next door neighbor came over to my house, knocked on my door urgently, and told me he needs me to chase after a car.
He needed me to drive and find the pizza delivery man because he accidentally gave him a $100 bill instead of a $50...
I used to be a cab driver when I was 18. One night I got called to a house in suburbia and a young couple got in the back. They asked me to head to an address about a 15 minute drive away. When we arrived they didn't get out. They just looked out the window and were trying to look through the window of a house a few doors down.
"Is that him?" the woman asked the man. "I think so, I hope so"
Then the man sent a text message off his phone and kept looking at this window. All of a sudden we saw someone wave and then disappear. I just kept the car running and waited for instructions. After about 5 minutes the light in this room went off and the couple kind of held each other and were really having an emotional moment. The woman comforted the man by saying "he's ok". Then they asked me to take them home.
On the ride home the man told me his son had been taken away from him by his ex wife in some bitter dispute. I can't remember the details and I was quite young at the time but it definitely sounded like this guy had been totally fucked over. He wasn't allowed to see him at all and they went through a lot of trouble just to see his hand wave through the window. The taxi fare was like $95AUD or something because of all the time. I think I charged them something like $20.
Did I help them violate some sort of court order, probably. I suspect they needed to use a taxi for this reason. I was and am still ok with it. I have opinions on the way fathers are treated in custody disputes. Source
We were the ones being followed in this story, but I feel it's relevant enough:
Once my friend was about to get in a fight with another fella outside a party, and to prevent the situation from escalating, I quickly put the both of us in a cab and told the driver to get us the hell out of there.
A few minutes later we realize we're being followed by the same guys from the party on another taxi, probably thirsty for blood. We tried to communicate the seriousness of our situation to our Indian taxi driver, but he wouldn't say anything in response - at this point, we weren't even sure if he spoke english. So I took $20 out of my pocket, put it on the deck of the car and said: "I'll give you this right now if you run that red light".
The driver stared at me for the longest time and grabbed the $20 bill without saying a word. What followed were the most intense 60 seconds of my life, as we ran past over several red lights at blazing speed, performing ridiculously sharp turns like this shit was GTA V.
In the end, we lost the guys chasing us. When we arrived at our destination, we thanked the driver, and he just stared at us as he drove away. I'll never forget that man. Source
A similar story: 10 years ago I was in the train station about to leave the city when I got an urgent phone call to fix one thing on the company's server.
So I jumped in a taxi and I directed the driver to drive me exactly under my window to get the WiFi. I pulled up my laptop and connected to server. I had a text mode Matrix like Linux and I could see the driver staring into the screen. (In my country you can sit in the right place of the taxi driver)
When I finished I said: "Now drive me back to train station, quick! I have a train to catch!"
I only realized what was in the man's head when he said at the end of the trip:"Just for you to know: I have a son that works for Secret Service too." Source
I'm not a taxi driver, but a police officer. I was moonlighting at a club and a fight broke out inside. The bouncers had an unusually hard time getting this one guy out of the club. I went inside to help and he took a swing at me, he then took off running out of the club down the street. I gave chase, but this guy was fast, I didn't have a chance at catching him. I chased him maybe two blocks and saw a taxi sitting in front of this other club. I jumped in the taxi and told the driver to follow him. We caught up with the guy and as we approached him, he was attempting to flag us down. I told the taxi driver to stop for him and as he opened the door there I was, he was too surprised to do anything but stand there. I placed him under arrest and called for another unit to come pick us up. Source
Sorta different, but in the 60s my Dad was a Chicago cab driver and Muhammad Ali hailed his cab and told him he wanted him to lead the way to different clothing stores and stuff for his wife. So instead of following someone else, my Dad got followed by Muhammad Ali for a couple hours. The dude told him to keep the meter running and paid him, gave him an autograph and stuff. Source
I did it for the laughs, the taxi driver kicked me out. Then I got into the taxi that was right in front of that one, and repeated it. Got kicked twice. Source
I wasn't a taxi driver but an Uber driver. Apparently, these assholes let their friend drive home drunk and felt bad after the fact that they had me follow behind him. He started driving erratically and speeding up. They kept telling me to say with him, so I did, but he then went into neighborhoods that his friends (my passengers) said weren't where he lived. Partway thru the neighborhood he stops the car and gets out and I thought he was gonna fuck my car up. Luckily his friend went out and told him we were following him to make sure he didn't get pulled over, although I kind of wish he didn't even drive in the first place, but I didn't want to be rude to my passengers, who were his friends. The drunk dude thought we were some rival gang or something so I scurried to drop my passengers off in their neighborhood, which was relatively safe, and head back out. Source