Creating a decent set of Sri Lankan taxi drivers

17 May 2019 - 380   - 1

The need for a decent set of drivers of taxis to help people get about their daily transport is very much felt since for a long time three-wheel drivers have been considered as somewhat uncultured, at least this is the feeling of some.

In this scenario, there appears to be emerging a very bold attempt to elevate the ‘driver’ as a cultured and decent professional. 
VirTrans Capital (Pvt) Ltd (a subsidiary company of CL Synergy Pvt Ltd), the holding company of YoU CAB e-taxi services with top cricketers Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara being partners of the company, signed an MOU with the All Island Association to Protect the Rights of Taxi Owners and Drivers on Thursday in Colombo. 

Mr. Jayawardena, explaining their near impossible task of having cultured drivers, said that they would offer them training in customer relations on how to speak to a customer, in relating to a customer and understanding the requirements in that part as well. For example if someone asks the driver to wait for 10 more minutes while they pick up something, they should oblige and do that and that is the Sri Lankan way.  

On the sidelines of the function, he told Business Times in inculcating due respect and professionalism into their service, their taxi driver will be transformed to being a ‘Travel Partner’.

He said that in addition to the large number of three-wheel drivers their aim is to transform the entire set of drivers who hire vehicles, adding: “We have more cars and vans involved in tourism transportation and at the same time we have in our logistics arm truckers and small scale lorries as well and even motorcycles are included." 

He said that they would deploy a two-pronged strategy to achieve their aims in elevating their status and professionalism. “What we are going to do is to recognise the services they are doing and then elevate their status.  These ‘travel partners’ also have to realize that they are doing a service. We are trying to get them to give a better service to the customer,” he said.  

Referring to the current situation and how it affects the travel trade, he said that everybody is affected, but the country has to wait and see how it could come back to the earlier situation.  

“So, as a country rather than looking at narrow political avenues for some people’s benefit I think we need to look at the bigger picture and the important thing is the economy to make sure that the people are sustained”. (QP)

  Comments - 1

  • nalin Thursday, 20 June 2019 06:46 AM

    Basic courtesy is lacking in most taxi drivers. Recently an uber driver had the audacity to tell me that his star ranking will go down since I appeared to be in a bad mood. The whole concept of "earning" a good star ranking by providing a good service was unknown to him. All taxi drivers should be made aware that they are service providers for which the customer pays them. They are not doing a favour. In this country the default attitude is that the passenger should know all the street names and not vice versa. This is because there is no testing done on the drivers knowledge of the city streets. An unacceptable situation.

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