Taxis in Tallinn will be forced to display fares and information in both English and Estonian after new regulations came into effect last week.
The dual language requirements are part of an overhaul of the city’s taxi licensing system designed to crack down on profiteering cab drivers. Tallinn’s taxi service has suffered from a poor reputation amongst both tourists and locals.
Under the new rules, all cabs must have a certified taximeter, together with a compatible printer. If the taximeter or printer is out of order the passenger will be within their rights to refuse to pay the fare.
The Tallinn taxi drivers are disreputable thieves. I was told to engage them in Estonian only, so they would be less apt to rip me off, but what happened was - you guessed it - they responded in English. I guess I did something that gave my nationality away. Maybe I was too friendly, or I forgot to suck in air when I said "jah."
I had whole conversations with taxi drivers like that like: "Tere hommikust, Liivalaia kakskümmend kolm, palun." And at the end: "Kui palju maksab?" And they would respond in English - or they wouldn't respond at all - and at the end I'd pay much more than if someone else had ordered the cab for me in Estonian.
Good to see they are doing something about that!