It’s perhaps an unsaid rule when stepping into a taxi or another ride service that a conversation with the driver isn’t part of the deal.
Sometimes, however, drivers have no problem talking to their passengers all throughout the ride.
Apparently, one Japanese taxi company takes advantage of solving the problem by launching a service that bans its drivers from speaking.
“This service is currently in a trial stage, with the goal of creating an in-car atmosphere that provides the most comfortable ride for passengers through limiting the driver’s speaking.”
Much positive feedback reportedly followed its launch. Company spokesperson Yoshio Ito shared (via South China Morning Post):
“We started this service on March 21 with five of our taxis and we have had a lot of very positive feedback from customers, both in person and through our web site.”
Ito said silence taxis are favored by salarymen, who seem to be the ones in dire need of tranquility:
“There are some customers who really just want peace and quiet as soon as they sit down, and we have found that our ‘Silence taxis’ are particularly popular with young salarymen. We think this might be because they are always so tired from work.”
However, some worry that the move only worsens the Japanese’ failure to communicate with each other.
Some commenters over Japan Today expressed:
“I would gladly pay extra for a service like this. I don’t often use taxis, and when I do it’s because I’m dead on my feet, so the last thing I want to have to do is make small talk with a complete stranger.
“Sucking the humanity out of what is already a mundane job. Lots of drivers to become depressed and suicidal when they have to be like robots all day, merely picking up passengers and dropping them off, without being allowed to have a chat about the weather, etc.
“Silence at times is truly golden! Particularly since I am paying for it! I am paying for the taxi service, not to listen to some old guy try to get my life story from me!”
What do you think about silence taxis? Will you pay for one?