As part of the aim to be known as the world’s best taxi service, Queensland’s Taxi Council has issued a warning to drivers that it will not tolerate any inappropriate behaviour towards female customers.
4BC Interview with Benjamin Wash
Taxi Council Queensland (TCQ) chief executive officer Benjamin Wash said that while Queensland taxis lead the world in many areas and enjoy a high customer satisfaction rating, he is setting the standards high.
“Ninety nine per cent of our drivers are excellent and do the right thing always, but when you want to be the best, you must demand the best,” he explained.
Mr Wash said he was aware that some female customers did not feel safe travelling in taxis, despite taxi travel being the safest form of door to door transport.
“We don’t want to ignore this perception. We want to bring this into the open and deal with it.
“Any behaviour that makes a customer feel insecure is distressing to me personally and to everyone across our industry.”
TCQ has issued a memo to all booking companies outlining unacceptable behaviour which includes:
- Inappropriate language, including vulgarity or sexually suggestive words or language.
- Questions of a private nature, including any personal details about customers or their plans.
- Any request for personal details or to communicate with a customer after the taxi journey.
- Suggestions outside of what would be typically expected from a taxi driver – i.e directions, places to visit, information about the location etc.
- Discussions of topics that may offend, raise concern or cause fear.
- Language that could be received as racist, sexist or degrading to women.
The memo states that inappropriate behaviour is found across all industries and is not widespread in the taxi industry, noting that the last Queensland Government mystery shopper survey gave Queensland taxis almost a 90 per cent satisfaction rating.
However Mr Wash said one incident was one too many.
“Just like we asked customers to report other issues in the past, we are now asking them to please immediately advise the taxi company of any instance where they feel unsafe or uncomfortable in a taxi.”
“If it is still unresolved, please advise TCQ. If we don’t know, we can’t act.”