This week Stabroek News spoke to taxi drivers and men/women in the streets about their views on the code of ethics for taxi services and drivers which was recently agreed by the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce and the Guyana Taxi Service Association.
Their responses follow:
Edward Junior – taxi driver `I think it is a good thing. Nobody should have to tell taxi drivers how to dress. We are offering a service to customers and we should at all times be properly attired. I have been doing this job for three years and it has not been bad at all. Business would fluctuate from time to time.’
Horton Branche – taxi driver `This is something good. The drivers should be properly attired at all times. We are offering a service to customers and by conducting ourselves in a good manner we will attract more customers. I think that all taxis should be yellow whether they are in a taxi service or not.’
Kwame Padmore – taxi driver `This is very good. We are offering a service to people and you never know who you would pick up one day. It should be implemented because this would boost tourism in the country. Drivers who are not regular taxi drivers give us taxi drivers a bad reputation. Some of those drivers would borrow cars from their relatives and work taxi in their spare time and pick up a few people and rob them and all sorts of things.’
Randolph Solomon – taxi driver `I do not think you should have tourism to have taxi drivers to tell you how to treat your customers. Most of my customers are satisfied with my service. This is an old vehicle. I had a customer who left her phone in my car and I returned it to her. Taxi fees are based on location for example the roads in Sophia are bad, whenever I am done doing a drop- off in that village I would have to go and spend money to do some maintenance on my car. Maintaining a vehicle is very expensive.’
Nigel Bobb – taxi driver `I have been working taxi for seven years now. After a while you develop a relationship with your customers and they would recommend you to others. They need to maintain a standard fare for taxi users that comply with us. I think a jersey and a jeans or a shirt would be appropriate for work. I would definitely support this when it is implemented.
When you are serving customers there is a need to be patient but some persons are very hasty when dealing with drivers. Fares on the whole are the same; however some places are very difficult to travel to and it is very costly to maintain a vehicle.’
Godfrey Lyttle – taxi driver `Yes, this should be implemented because people need to be respected more. Taxi drivers should be more careful with passengers. If this code of ethics is implemented I will support it.’
Donette Harding- vendor `I have never really had any problems with the taxi drivers. My problems are with the bus conductors and the touts. There was this conductor who assaulted me verbally and I reported the matter to the Brickdam Police Station and nothing became of it. This conductor was very rude, I was in a bus a day and he grabbed a pregnant woman and when I spoke to him about it he started to point his hands in my face and use indecent language.
Some taxi drivers tell you that it is not Government and they charge you over excessive fares. I think that they should target bus drivers, touts and conductors.’
Allison Joseph – vendor `I have never had a bad experience with a taxi driver. I think that they should target the bus drivers and conductors who are very disrespectful at times. Most taxi drivers to me provide customers with excellent services. I have never been harassed by a taxi driver but I would support it when it is implemented.’
Mary Burrowes – businesswoman `I don’t think that taxi drivers should be subjected under them laws. I have never had a bad experience with any taxi driver.
Some peoples want make money off of them men who does be out here hustling trying to make an honest living. I don’t have problem with the way how they dress, you ever see how them taxi drivers in the US does dress?’
Latoya Nurse – `I don’t think I have a problem with the way how taxi drivers behave but I travel a lot with them out of town. I believe that it will be great initiative that will enhance customer service among drivers.’