Leadership

Toronto Taxi Group Doubles Down on Customer Service

The Toronto Taxi Alliance is taking a two-pronged approach to improving the reputation of taxi drivers in the city by launching a tip line and increasing training for new drivers.

Got a problem with your taxi driver? Toronto’s primary taxi-industry group wants you to speak up.

This week, the Toronto Taxi Alliance (TTA) launched a set of initiatives to battle some noted pain points for customers that have made it easier for companies such as Lyft and Uber to compete with the taxi industry.

One such initiative is an email tip line designed to make it easy for customers to either complain about or commend a driver. It offers a centralized place for riders to give feedback on their drivers, whether they refused to drive to a certain part of town or went above and beyond on a trip to the airport. (You may want to store the email address, [email protected], for future reference if you’ll be in Toronto anytime soon—or, say, next August for the 2017 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition.)

The email address is also tied to a program called “Point and Click,” which encourages passengers to take photos of taxis so the drivers can be identified by the number on their vehicles. Every taxi company in the city has joined the tip line.

“We are very excited to launch today one central email address serving the entire Toronto taxi industry, which consumers can use to give compliments to great drivers and report complaints when service failed to meet their expectations,” TTA Executive Director Rita Smith said in a statement.

A larger part of the campaign involves improving training for taxi drivers. TTA is working with Centennial College, a local community college, on a new driver-education program meant to encourage positive behaviors and offset ones that lead to complaints.

Barry O’Brien, dean of the Centennial College School of Business, said the program would be “delivering 18 hours of vital taxi driver training in a quick and intensive format.”

All new drivers brought on after May 4 will be required to complete the course, though those who have received complaints could also find themselves in the classroom.

Two of the city's iconic two-toned taxis. (Dirk Heine/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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