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How can the taxi sector stay in the game?

The taxi sector took a huge knock as a result of COVID-19. 

Lockdowns kept people at home and social distancing measures (still prevalent today) further reduced maximum vehicle capacity. Taxi companies have struggled to maintain a steady flow of business. This goes especially for local taxi businesses.

But the pandemic isn’t the only threat to the taxi sector.

Popular ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have offered commuters:

  • Faster rides
  • Cheaper fares 
  • Often higher quality service
  • Fee transparency 

With Uber, for example, generating $11.1 billion in revenue in 2020 (despite the pandemic), it’s clear that the public is opting for the flashier, modern transport solutions.

So, what can traditional taxi drivers do?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this challenge.

Location plays a huge part in how people perceive and utilise taxi and ride-sharing services. Ultimately, it is down to individual taxi companies to assess their situation and make changes.

Here are some ideas that company leaders can consider:

  • Increase accessibility. A lot of Uber and Lyft’s success can be attributed to the simplicity of booking a journey. Mainly through 2 or 3 taps on a mobile app. Many traditional taxi companies still rely on phone and website bookings, which are a lot slower and more difficult to book from. (Making the experience less enjoyable). Taxi directors should consider investing in telematics solutions such as apps or other systems to keep up with the mobility sector.
  • Leverage trust. Traditional taxi sector employees are long-term, professional drivers. They now their local area inside out. Compared to part-time ride-share drivers. Company owners can market this knowledge and establish trust with potential customers. They’ll be more likely to choose this option in the knowledge that they’ll get to their destination safely and efficiently.
  • Demonstrate value. It’s very difficult to compete with Uber and Lyft’s prices, but taxi companies can certainly up their value. Again, this can vary by location, but personalised and/or return journeys are good ways to start — further demonstrating value by putting customers first and providing a stellar, reliable service. 

The future for the local taxi sector

Uber and Lyft could be the least of local taxi companies’ worries in the future.

Technology is on the way to take over in the form of autonomous vehicles, with robotaxi development already taking place.

Robotaxis are fully autonomous vehicles that, when fully developed, will require zero human supervision — completely redefining transport!

However, safety must and will be at the heart of the robotaxi, so it will be a while until we see these changes come into effect.

Until then, companies in the taxi sector can continue to streamline their services, fight for their business and win back customers.

So, where can taxi directors start improving their service?

Drivestar

Presenting your next cost-saving breakthrough: Drivestar!

The Drivestar app tracks and improves upon your drivers, reducing incident rates, improving efficiency and ultimately lowering your insurance and other main operational costs.

We work with a number of insurance companies that already know and use Drivestar to lower the premiums of safe drivers. If your employees are Drivestar certified, they’re automatically recognised as safer drivers.

The money you and your fleet save can then be reinvested into enhancing your operations and delighting your customers — everybody wins!
If you’d like to learn more about upgrading your fleet and winning back customers, visit our website and engage our socials, @Drivestar!