I know I have been slack in my posts over the later half of 2012. It ended up being a crazy year for me, but that is for other posts.
I recorded plates for all the taxis I drove in around Hong Kong for 12 months.
I used 273 taxis over a 12 month period – all red.
I had the same taxi (based on numberplate) a total of 2 times in 2012. Once in January and once in November. Every other month the taxis I took were unique.
According to the Hong Kong Taxi Department there are 18, 138 taxis in Hong Kong at the time I write this. If we narrow that down to urban taxis (I only rode in red taxis) the number is 15,250.
I rode in 271 of them during 2012.
Given I spend most of my time on Hong Kong Island I find the fact I didn’t hit a duplicate taxi more than twice astounding. However when you do the math I rode in less than 2% of the red taxi fleet over a years duration!
That is amazing in itself to know that even though I felt I took taxis a large number of times I didn’t even come close to riding in 10% of the fleet despite the vast majority of my trips being in unique vehicles. I shudder thinking how many years (and taxis) I would take around Hong Kong to have sat in 10% of the fleet.
Whilst my curiosity to continue the experiment for a second year is tempting, to see not only how many duplicate taxis I ride, but also what percentage of the fleet I have experienced, I stopped recording taxi plates in January so the numbers would no longer be accurate.
I now know that a 1 year experiment with Hong Kong taxis wasn’t long enough based on my taxi habits.
However, I also know the chance of getting the same driver twice in a year is incredibly low and there really are a crazy amount of taxis out there, even when they are seemingly hard to find.