“Taxicab drivers are true gems and are great at putting a smile on your face.”
Author: Will Nash, Head of Marketing at Taxi Butler
Taxi drivers are those surprising companions who bond in minutes, listen to their passengers' stories, pour their hearts out, and sometimes provide the best advice on almost any topic. Every taxi ride is special, and it always brings something unique and unexpected.
Despite the sentiment of romanticising the profession and their courage, their job is challenging and sometimes dangerous. However, how many times have we expressed our gratitude towards them? As taxi drivers worldwide celebrate March 22 as a professional holiday, we would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and honour their strength and fearlessness and thank them for their constant dedication to delivering excellent customer service.
To be a fine taxi driver, besides the excellent driving skills, time management skills, and good people skills, the driver should ideally be well versed with all the streets and lanes. Slavina Paleva, Director of Operations at Venue Butler sharing her exciting encounter, says, "During my recent visit to Chicago for business, the scope of my knowledge about the place was limited to the weather. I boarded a taxi and started chatting with the taxi driver. The taxi driver was very welcoming and knowledgeable. He welcomed me to his city and offered me a bunch of recommendations for rooftop bars, restaurants, events to visit, boat cruises and many more. It was like having a personal guide during that 40-minute ride to my destination. Taxi drivers are true gems and are great at putting a smile on your face."
The profession of a taxi driver is seamlessly selfless and requires much patience. Irrespective of the passenger's mood, age or gender, they aim to complete the ride safely and efficiently. Working beyond the convenience of a 9 to 5 job, they offer so much more. They are responsible for their customers' safety and luggage and are often exposed to dealing with troublesome passengers. However, with every completed ride, customer satisfaction and a smile better their day in different ways.
Talking about trust and safety, Laurence Docherty, Sales Manager at Taxi Butler, shares his experience in the Netherlands, "I was travelling back from Lille to The Hague and I ended up missing my connecting train. I was stranded in Antwerp with no money and self-pitying. I approached the first taxi driver and asked him how much it would be to drive to The Hague, "€150" he said. When I told him I had nothing on me and that my roommate would pay when we arrived, he looked at me slightly suspiciously. However, he agreed to drive me to The Hague and arrived at the home where I thankfully paid. It was because of him that I could reach home, safe and sound, and cannot thank him enough."
Recollecting one of such thankful memories with a taxi driver, Mats Arends, Technology Manager at Taxi Butler, shares his experience, "Two years ago I was travelling to Russia for an expo with a colleague. Unfortunately, my colleague had to cancel at the last minute, which resulted in a solo journey with personal luggage, two odd-size boxes, including the banners we needed for the expo. After arriving at the airport, managing the luggage and transporting it to the check-in counter was extremely overwhelming. A taxi driver witnessed the struggle. He locked his taxi, and came to my rescue, assisted in carrying the luggage, and even went through the check-in line."
Among various customers taxi drivers encounter, some are conversationalists, some are friendly, while others are rude and simply boring. According to recent statistics for London, there are around 300,000 journeys made each day in the capital. Taxi drivers can often get bored and would want to engage in conversation. They are often humorous and can support any conversation, making the journey more memorable.
Talking about one such memorable experience, Sven Bakker, Growth Hacker at Taxi Butler shares, "Almost 10 years ago, I was on holiday in Croatia with a few friends. Most clubs were far away, and we were dependent on taxis to take us to the nightlife area. We received the phone number of Pino (I still know his name), and he arrived in no time with a big smile on his face. For the rest of our stay in Croatia, Pino picked us up with great energy at any place, no matter what time and day it was. Our holiday would not have been the same without him, and my friends and I still bring up stories about these taxi trips during our conversations."
March 22, 1907, marks the first time that official 'taxis', measuring distance travelled and billed accordingly, first appeared on the streets of London. The 'taximeters' were then made compulsory that year and the formerly named cabs were then equipped with 'taximeters', which became known as "taxicabs" or "taxis", and the rest is history.
The taxi industry has faced continuous uncertainty and disruption over the past couple of years. Emerging competitions, regulatory changes and shifts in consumer expectations have contributed to the changing landscape of the commercial passenger vehicle industry. Taxi Drivers have endured all this and more. They play a significant part in mass transportation and are often expected to do more than merely drive passengers from point A to B. In fact, they also assist people with their luggage, sometimes picking up and delivering packages and providing sightseeing tours to people new to the city. Their work continues to be a shining example of the importance of providing friendly and accessible service to all in need.
With this in mind, let us make a conscious effort to be grateful for the honest and reliable services taxi drivers provide us, and treat them with kindness and respect, as they deserve.