The Consumer

Two taxi companies are blazing a trail

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I take taxis a lot and have developed favorites.

But I was pleasantly surprised by policies in two taxi companies I am not familiar with.

Kamxan Transport has prepared a list of company rules and government regulations that drivers have to follow, placed where passengers can easily see it. Violations mean fines. The list, by Marinella B. Sarabia, manager, requires the driver to use the taxi meter at all times and never to negotiate fares with passengers.

Also prohibited is the use of a gadget that will make the meter run faster. Advertisements are no-nos and drivers are required to always look clean and neat.

Passengers need not ask for receipts. The list also instructs the driver to issue a receipt at all times. Like a pilot preparing for takeoff, the driver is instructed to check a number of things such as essentials, of course, like brakes. But, as its cab is supposed to have a coin box and a trash can, the driver is also supposed to check that those are in his vehicle.

I usually ask for a receipt when I get to my destination but I wanted to see what the driver would do. I was pleasantly surprised that I got my receipt without asking for it.

Another taxi company, which has started a good practice that passengers will appreciate, is Southland Taxi. There is a sign asking passengers to take a picture of the dashboard if the driver’s ID is not prominently displayed.

I think what these companies and others should do next is take steps to provide better protection to their drivers. Good people are hard to find these days and drivers who will diligently follow all those regulations should be valued. I have been in cabs where drivers cannot even follow traffic rules.

Many criminals are targeting taxi drivers who work late and are supposed to take passengers to wherever they want to go, no questions asked. Taxi companies can help keep their drivers safe by keeping tabs on them, requiring them to report their location regularly and taking note of their destination. In other countries, drivers working for cab companies let their dispatchers know where they are going every time they pick up a passenger.

Companies do not have to invest in radio communication if that is expensive for them. With the technology available these days, taxi companies should not think only of radio communication if they want to keep in constant contact with their drivers.

The mobile phone is offering so many possibilities for monitoring drivers and making sure they are safe.  Companies can just have their drivers on the same mobile network, preferably one offering unlimited calls and SMS, to make communication quick and easy. Perhaps they can talk to networks and come up with a package suitable to their needs.

Or maybe small companies can share the investment for a radio setup.

Let kids be kids

Unilever wants laundry to be less of a dreaded chore among mothers with young children who have to deal with all the dirt and stains active kids get into their clothes. It hopes its new product, Breeze with ActivBleach, will make laundry easier, if not a breeze (pun intended), so mothers do not have to restrict their kids’ movement for fear they would ruin their clothes. The laundry detergent is supposed to be “an unbeatable stain-removal detergent” so Unilever had adopted the slogan “Sige sa Mantsa.”

Moms will have to see for themselves if the new product delivers on its promise.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail lbolido@inquirer.com.ph.

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  • Patas

    Nice article about taxis…we are very late and unprofessional when it comes to public transports….hope this 2-taxi companies could resurrect the good old days of good taxi rides.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BV6DWTSUHKJGFANJJ5P3WPPTQM Paul

    in other countries, ID of the driver and other info are prominently displayed on the dashboard. hope we can adapt that here.

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