This discussion pops up in many places where people are likely to hail cabs through a hailing app. It is good to hear them praising tech growth, yet absurd to hear the finality with which they dismiss taxis as we have traditionally known them.
Old-school taxis are not going anywhere. In fact, they are almost oblivious to the new-age entrants. Here’s why.
Taxis Work Superbly in a Well-Organised Environment
You see, the cab app business works best where the taxi business has been in chaos. In places where, for instance, taxi drivers used to bubble out the cost of a trip out of the blue, a metered cab solved that problem. In cities where any vehicle could be a taxi, the cab app found a gap to fill. The same goes for areas where taxi drivers were unethical and could not be held accountable.
This does not apply in properly planned cities. Here, taxis have stipulated colours and are clearly labelled. The meter billing system used by cabs? They always had it. Drivers do not have to pay commissions to the app company, meaning only a few of them will join the program. Clients too. They know they can always find a taxi passing by or parked nearby. Why, then, would they want to download an extra app?
The fact that cab app companies have faced complaints about and from their drivers does not improve their case.
A Complementary Industry
This article is not an on-demand-taxi slander. Instead, it is a rebuttal of the case made for the extinction of old-school taxis. They are here to stay.
What every on-demand taxi shareholder (mainly companies and drivers) needs to embrace is that taxi service providers can work in tandem. They can frequent areas that are not served by regular taxis. They can also unionize together to get better licensing conditions and train their crew on how to serve customers better.
Taxis are a popular way of getting from one place to another in a hurry and they are ideal if there are delays on buses or if you are not sure how to get to your destination any other way. But you may not realise that there is a certain amount of [taxi:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxi etiquette that you should adhere to.
You might think that this goes without saying but customers using a taxi should remember that while the driver is providing a service, they are not there to be spoken down to or abused. A growing number of taxi drivers have reported that some customers have not been polite and ]it is unfair to behave badly. Remember that often, the driver is using their own car to offer this service.
Smoking is illegal in public places and this is the same for taxis, The dangers of passive smoking mean that you could put the health of the drive or anyone else you are travelling with in danger. For the most part, taxi journeys are short, so doing without a cigarette for 10 or even 20 minutes should not be a hardship, but have a few nicotine alternatives to hand just in case. Options such as snus nicotine pouches are ideal to keep in a bag or pocket, they come in a variety of flavours and they are very easy to use.
All you need to do is have one of the snus to hand if you do get a craving while you are in a taxi, but are also idea if you are on any type of public transport or in any public place.
Leave a tip
While most people think that taxi journeys are expensive, in reality they are not. When you consider the cost of the time of the driver, the cost of fuel and wear and tear on the vehicle, taxi journeys are quite good value for money and if you have had a good service from the driver – collected and arrived on time in a well-maintained vehicle – then there is no reason not to leave them a tip.
It does not have to be a lot of money, but most people consider around 10-15% of the price of the journey to be a suitable amount to tip.
There are many reasons for using public transport, the biggest at the moment would have to be to help the environment. Green and eco friendly ways of travelling are becoming more popular as people are now ditching the really expensive fossil fuel powered vehicles and opting for electric vehicles or even public transport.
Door to door service
When you take a taxi you get a door to door service. They pick you up from your departure point and take you right to your destination. Easy as pie. When you take a bus you have to make your way to and from the nearest bus stop, which might not be on the route you need. It could mean more than one bus trip to complete your journey. This is far less convenient. For longer journeys a train is better, but again you need to go to the nearest train station, but if there is no direct train to your destination, then you will need to change en-route. This can be inconvenient and time consuming. A taxi, especially for shorter journeys is more ideal than other forms of public transport.
Friendly, personal service
Most taxi drivers like to have a chat with their passengers, especially if they are a lone traveller. This helps them to pass the time while working their shift, but it is also nice for the passenger to have a little company on their journey, even if it is just chit-chatting about the weather. If you have an important appointment, such as a planned surgery for a breast enlargement, you might be a little nervous and want a friendly voice to chat to you on the way to the hospital.
Breast enlargement surgery
If you are planning a breast enlargement surgery, then you may be appreciative of a friendly voice on the way to the hospital, but more importantly, on the way back home again. You may be feeling a little unwell after having anaesthetic, but knowing your taxi will take you right to your door, and even wait until you get safely inside, must offer a little peace of mind.
Travel in comfort
When you travel by taxi you are traveling in comfort. There is just you, or your family/friends in the taxi so it is a more intimate way to travel, as opposed to buses and trains, where you have to mix with strangers, and the rides are not necessarily comfortable.
If someone has a driving license, they might consider becoming a taxi driver. This line of work can end up being surprisingly lucrative depending on the location of the service. The main difference between taxi and limo businesses is that in the latter the worker will need to follow specific dress codes. Taxi drivers on the other hand have greater freedom when it comes to their attire.
Despite this the passengers will often judge the driver based on their appearance. Consequently it is important to choose an outfit that exudes professionalism and friendliness. This does not necessarily mean it has to be overly formal. There are plenty of white tops on the NA-KD website that would be perfect for a taxi driver. Whilst going through their catalogue there are several things to look out for.
Attire For The Right Climate
White tops are popular during the summer because they help to reduce heat absorption. If the heath risks of overheating are overlooked it can leave the driver in a debilitating condition.
One option is to utilise air conditioning whilst in the vehicle. Doing so will have the added benefit of increasing the comfort of passengers. However, it is also important to wear something that keeps the person feeling cool.
Clothes That Suit The Driver’s Budget
There is a fair amount of expenditure to consider when running a taxi long term. Due to rising fuel costs there are demands for higher fares so that drivers can continue to make a decent profit. The choice of clothing available to them will depend on how much is in their budget range. NA-KD sells white tops at very affordable prices.
Tops With Good Mobility
Whilst operating a vehicle the person needs to move around in order to drive safely. Traffic collisions are just one of several occupational hazards that taxi employees have to deal with. If they are wearing something with decent mobility they will have better control of the taxi. For this reason it is best to avoid tops that feel too tight around the arms and chest.
A High Level Of Comfort
Taxi drivers need to sit in their vehicle all day long. It can be a fairly monotonous line of work. If they choose a top that feels uncomfortable it will exacerbate the situation. Everyone has their textile preferences. There are many top material options on the NA-KD site.
Taxi driving shifts tend to be fairly long. There may not be enough time to stop for a beverage. This is why so many drivers bring their own drinks along with them. Cold soft drinks are fine but eventually the driver will want something hot. Tea and coffee are popular with these workers because they need plenty of energy. They could bring a thermos filled with a hot caffeinated drink with them. A mug could then be utilised. The best site to buy high quality mugs from is Royal Design. They offer a plethora of different options. Having one in the vehicle will yield several benefits.
Putting A Smile On The Driver’s Face
Driving a taxi for long periods of time can end up becoming boring. In order to stay positive and upbeat it is important to fill the vehicle with items that make the driver feel happy. There are several mugs from Royal Design that have fun cartoon artwork on them. Simply looking at them from time to time is sure to put a smile on the face of the driver.
Offering The Mug To Passengers
The success of an individual taxi will often depend on the reviews that they get. Modern day taxi services are usually open to online customer reviews which can make or break them. Therefore it is a good idea to offer additional perks to the people riding. Free beverages are a popular choice. If elegant mugs are used it will make the customer feel more important.
A Taste Of Home
Being on the road for too long will naturally make drivers feel homesick. This can be minimised by bringing along a household item. Mugs are a smart choice because they also serve a practical function.
Adding Style To The Taxi Interior
Since the industry is so competitive the taxi will need to stand apart from all of its rivals. Therefore the driver should decorate it with stylish items. Mugs from Royal Design are particularly useful in this regard.
With many taxi-hailing apps coming up such as Uber, Bolt, and London Lady Chauffers, among others, more people are getting interested in the taxi business. It can be very lucrative, especially if you find yourself in a high traffic area. Being a taxi business, it goes without saying that you will need to get the right car. Not all vehicles make good taxis. You must go for one that has suitable features.
Features of a Good Taxi Vehicle
- Boot Space: If you are operating a taxi, you will get a lot of people who need to move with their luggage. It is much easier when you have the boot space where they can put their items without struggling.
- Low fuel consumption: For a business, you need to break even. If you buy a vehicle with high fuel consumption rate, you will be running losses. Even though progress on electric cars has not been as fast as was anticipated, you can also consider it as an option if you get any that are within your budget.
- Lower steps: Think of your taxi as a vehicle that people across different age groups will use. If it is too high, it might be a challenge for elderly people, children and those with health conditions. Always remember that a taxi business is much more than providing transport. There are a lot of customer care considerations that you must put into place.
- Passenger space: Imagine the frustration of a passenger when they get into your taxi after a long, tedious flight only to realise that they cannot stretch their legs because the space is too small. If you want to have repeat customers, you must make their comfort a priority.
Have a basic idea of who your target market is likely to be. If you are targeting affluent neighbourhoods, you may need a luxury car. Explore options of getting a car loan for your business if you do not have enough money.
Being a taxi driver is classified among dangerous jobs. There are many risks that taxi drivers are exposed to. Since they stay on the road for many hours every day, they are more likely to be involved in a road accident. Carrying strangers on a daily basis also means that taxi drivers are vulnerable to attacks and robberies. Moreover, the high traffic that they get in their car can expose them to contagious diseases. They can also sometimes become victims of police investigations if they are traced to a customer who used their services.
Despite the vulnerabilities, taxi drivers can still keep safe by:
- Going cashless: Taxi drivers who use cash transactions are likely to be targets of a robbery. If they go cashless, they will not catch the attention of robbers.
- IInstall a screen/Barrier: It is always advisable for taxi drivers to lead customers to the back seat to prevent cases where customers attempt to control the car or injure the driver. Having the barrier can also help in preventing some contagious diseases.
- Get the vehicle checked: To avoid wear and tear that comes with using the vehicle too many times in a day, taxi drivers should always take them for maintenance. This helps in preventing accidents. Another tip is to rest when tired. Resist the temptation to work when sleepy or fatigued.
- Operate in familiar grounds: Taxi drivers should not venture too far from areas that they are familiar with. Otherwise, they could end up getting into an accident or exposing themselves to carjackings and robberies.
- Get convex mirrors: Wide angled mirrors will let taxi drivers know what passengers are doing on the back seat. Knowing that they are being watched may deter passengers from attacking the driver. They should also have a CCTV camera that captures the activities inside and around the taxi.
Finally, taxi drivers should also learn to trust their instincts and stop themselves from interacting with certain passengers if they get a gut feeling that they are in danger.
Taxi businesses are one of the most thriving service industries today. It is one of the main reasons why most entrepreneurs are starting them. This, however, does not mean that everything in the taxi industry is a piece of cake because there are a lot of challenges that you will encounter. Before you invest your money in a taxi business, here are a few things worth knowing.
You’ll Need to Do Some Paperwork
There is paperwork that you will be required to do before you begin operating your new taxi business, so brace yourself. It includes applying for business permits and licenses as well as insurance. There are various insurance policies for taxi businesses. When doing your paperwork, consult an experienced taxi operator to know everything that is required of you. If you need accessories for your taxi, get in touch with Work System to know your options.
You’ll Have to Understand the Taxi System
Just as with any other type of business, taxi operators have an efficient system that enables them to run all their operations smoothly. You’ll have to understand it before you get started. It involves the resources required to provide reliable transport services, the technology used, as well as the information needed to meet the demands of different clients.
Take the time to research all you need to run a taxi business and prepare yourself for massive success.
When taxi-hailing apps such as Uber, Lyft, and Zimride became popular, there was a fear among traditional taxi drivers that their businesses would die within a few years. Granted, the number of customers has reduced, and more people now turn to their smartphones whenever they need taxi services. However, all is not lost for traditional taxi drivers. If you want to keep making money as a driver, some of the tips that you can use are:
Go to High Traffic Areas
It goes without saying that you are likely to get more customers in places where there is high traffic. Think of supermarkets, hospitals, city centre and other entertainment facilities where many people are looking for transport. It also helps to work during peak hours when the rideshare taxis have a surge and are charging more.
Print Business Cards
One of the mistakes that most traditional taxi drivers make is not having business cards to give to clients who use their services. Print cards and when the customer alights, politely hand them your business card telling them that you are available for their next trip. Feel free to ask them if they will be needing taxi services and let them know that you are flexible enough to take up assignments.
What can set you apart from other taxi drivers is courtesy. Every customer wants to feel important when using your services. Never underestimate the value of simple things such as opening for them the door, respecting their space by not yapping too much; unless they indicate that they want to chat and other details like helping them with their luggage. If you are courteous, the chances are that you will get repeat customers.
It can be tempting to keep driving around aimlessly in an attempt to get a customer. This will only lead to frustrations and irritability. If you are on a traditional taxi, it helps to have a designated pick up point where your customers can easily find you. During off-peak, you should consider engaging in fun activities such as catching up with your favourite game. You can buy a cheap refurbished ipad that you carry with you everywhere you go. You should also explore different options, such as doing long-distance drives with your taxi. It might mean getting a license that allows you to cross borders, but you can be sure of making good money.
Join a Taxi Association
Check if there are taxi associations around you that you can join. These unions always have opportunities for their members. You will also learn from other members of the association on how to make more money as a taxi driver. Most of the associations also have programmes where you can access cheap loans to expand your business.
Ridesharing might have taken over the taxi industry. But it’s not too late for traditional taxis to recoup their market share.
The entire industry is valued at $108 billion right now, and it is expected to reach a whopping $285 billion by 2030. In all honesty, this money is enough to go round, unless you are willing to let ridesharing companies take it all.
To remain competitive, you need to learn from Uber’s business model and use your vast experience as a secret weapon.
Be Flexible with Fares
It’s no secret that ridesharing apps are winning over clients because of their fair pricing. And that’s what the rest of the industry should replicate. The rates don’t have to go as low as Uber’s, but finding a balance between value for money and decent profits would be a great start.
Though the police do not record taxi-related attacks, ridesharing comes with its fair share of issues. Some rogue drivers pick riders and drop them off before arriving at their destinations without a valid reason. And others go ahead to assault passengers sexually.
So if you offer quality, reliable and professional services, you might stand a chance.
Ask Regulators to Level the Playing Field
Some regulators have stepped in to save their local taxi companies from drowning after ridesharing happened. The most recent case being EU’s ban on Uber services. However, they intend to build apps and use them with regulated cabbies.
Look for an Alternative to the Medallion System
A medallion costs anywhere between $150, 000 and $250,000. And yeah, that means that taxi operators need to pay upfront before getting into the business. If you add that to as car purchase, insurance, license, maintenance, and fuel, it’s clear that this system seems to be causing most of the industry’s problems.