What Happened When a Tourist was Charged 150 Euros for a 8-Mile Trip?
The tourist had come from Cyprus to visit his mother in an Israeli hospital when he found himself at the mercy of a dishonest taxi driver
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On Tuesday, a tourist from Cyprus arrived in Israel to visit his mother who was hospitalized in the Tel Hashomer Hospital in the center of the country. At the airport, he took a taxi to drive him to the hospital. After a relatively short trip of 8 miles, the driver demanded that the tourist pay the grossly inflated amount of 150 euros ($174) for the trip. The helpless tourist didn’t know what to do and felt he had no choice but to pay.
Once in the hospital, the tourist contacted a community policeman who was stationed there and complained about the inflated amount he had been forced to pay the taxi driver.
The community policeman, together with the hospital's management, took steps to find out the identity of the (50 year old) driver who lived in Ashkelon and warned him of the consequences of his act.
The driver returned to the hospital and gave back the extorted money. He apologized to the tourist for his actions.
In the wake of this unfortunate case, "Israeli Shortcut" chairman warns tourists coming to Israel to only ride with taxi drivers who are authorized to drive a taxi and to always ask them to operate a meter at the beginning of the trip.