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Taxi driver's alleged $33 move sparks fury - here's what the law says

A Sydneysider who realised a taxi driver had allegedly started his meter at an eye-watering $33.15 when he took a cab at the domestic airport has taken to social media to air his frustration over the experience.

The man, who posted the complaint on the sub-Reddit r/Sydney, told members of the group he had checked the starting fare and couldn't believe what he saw.

“Taxi driver’s meter was hidden at Sydney Domestic, when checked it the starting fare was $33.15,” the Redditor said in the post which was accompanied by a snap of the cab from the backseat where he was sitting.

The post, which has been upvoted more than 2,200 times, received nearly 300 comments in a matter of hours, with many sharing equally frustrating and infuriating experiences, labelling the driver "dodgy".

A man who took a taxi at the Sydney domestic airport took to Reddit to complain about a cabbie who he says started his metre at $33.15. Credit: Reddit
A man who took a taxi at the Sydney domestic airport took to Reddit to complain about a cabbie who he says started his metre at $33.15. Credit: Reddit (Yahoo News Australia)

“We had a cabbie the other day try to force a prepayment of a larger amount than the total would be. Absolute knob,” one person commented.

“I had a cab driver put in a randomly higher number into the eftpos machine and then make up that the toll didn't include the airport tariffs etc automatically. Put in a complaint through the official taxi website and it got nowhere,” another person said, following comments by some members of the group to complain through a hotline.

While the author of the post claimed they got out of the cab without arguing, other members were still of the opinion he should report the incident.

“You should still report it, if you have a license plate or drivers info. There’s been a bunch of fraud rackets by drivers and owners, and I’m sure many ongoing,” one person replied.

Taxi driver's alleged act 'illegal'

The thread also received comments from former taxi drivers who were quick to say what the cabbie did was illegal.

“I spent almost 4 years driving a taxi. This sh*t is illegal, on both state and national legislation,” a former cabbie explained. “The maximum penalty for a driver doing this is $50,000 and up to 5 years jail time. Maximum penalty differs by state, but all public transport legislation is based off the same Federal bill.”

According to Transport NSW, maximum fares in urban areas have a hiring charge of $3.60.

During peak hours – which is from 10pm to 6am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings prior to public holidays – there is an additional $2.50 on top of the hire charge.

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