Attracting more drivers from a broader cross-section of the community - including semi-retired people and women – is part of a bold campaign by Taxi Council Queensland to create the world’s best taxi service, according to chief executive officer Benjamin Wash.
Mr Wash marked one year in the job by announcing the plan, which will also focus on improving customer service and luring more customers.
He is already convinced the state’s taxi service is the best in Australia.
“Over the past year I’ve learned how important taxis are to so many Queenslanders, providing safe, door-to-door service to over a quarter of a million people every day.
“My goal is for Queensland to be the best in the world, and I believe that’s achievable as we work closely with government, tourism groups and drivers,” he explained.
He said that contrary to perception, driving a taxi is safe. “It is a good career and has offered generations of people a great lifestyle. Many other occupations have a far greater risk-factor and we are continually making it safer”.
The plan also involves training drivers to be tourism ambassadors.
“The first person that greets many visitors to our state is the taxi driver, and we want to partner with drivers to provide tourists with a more comprehensive service,” he said.
These initiatives are aimed at achieving Mr Wash’s ultimate goal – to increase taxi usage.
“I want to reintroduce the public to the benefits of taxis,” he declared.
“Not only is a taxi the safest and most convenient transport, but it doesn’t have to be expensive.
“During sporting and community events, it works out almost as cheap as other forms of public transport if a few friends share a cab, not to mention the convenience.”
“More people in cabs means less traffic congestion. It’s better for the environment, for tourism, for business and for the economy.”