RANDOM THOUGHTS: 3 Important Things Taxi Operators Should Consider to Help Minimize Abusive Drivers

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board confirmed that the huge percentage of complaints last year were against the abusive/rude drivers. Additionally, out of 9,372 cases, 6,944 were taxi drivers. In fact, this month alone have already countless relevant stories on and offline. And, it’s quite alarming.

LTFRB Cab complaints 2015

READ the full details: LTFRB Confirms Lodged Complaints Against Abusive Taxi Drivers Went Up by 43% in 2015

Last December was mandatory for me to visit Manila. I, therefore, allotted transportation allowance either for Grab/Uber or a regular cab. Sadly, these drivers (Grab/Uber or regular taxis) really tested my patience. I asked myself “why are they harsh and why do they choose passengers?” However, rather than getting even, I took the liberty to study their behavior, hoping for a possible result of the underlying truth behind their rudeness.

LTFRB lodged complaints in 2014 and 2015:

Complaints/Cases
20142015
Rude behavior9461,082
Overcharging790892
Refusal to convey passengers1012860

So, here’s what I did: I compared several taxi companies I used last month with private booking apps like Uber and Grab. I know some of you would think, “why the hell is she comparing it to Grab or Uber?” Well, although, they (private booking apps) are driving private vehicles and follow a different system, it all boils down to one thing: both drivers provide a public service. 

But, see that’s the thing. If both deliver public service, how come taxi drivers act otherwise? What’s the underlying truth behind their dreadful behavior?

And, here’s my conclusion: 1) The Boundary System (2) Mandatory and Random Drug Testing and (3) Solid rules and regulations

Allow me to elaborate each requirement and put a disclaimer, as well:

These requirements were all conclusion to my own study. No government nor companies have paid or approached me to do this. I am just sick and tired of these awful stories about abusive drivers. I know there’s a better way to approach this and hopefully, my thoughts will be able to help lower the number of careless drivers. And, yes, I am aware that not ALL Taxi drivers are crooked. 

kind taxi cab driver 1

In fact, he was my inspiration as to why I want some taxi operators to consider these 3 important things.

RANDOM THOUGHTS:  3 Important Things Taxi Operators Should Consider to Help Minimize Abusive Drivers

3. Business Management

I am not saying all operators don’t know how to manage their businesses. We often hear an entrepreneur or business owner say, that your employees perform well if they are treated with respect and gratitude. These drivers have families. They work for their families. Therefore, treat your drivers the way their families would treat them – with respect and sense of belonging.

So, start from there. Perhaps, manage your staff, drivers, or everyone in your company by implementing realistic rules and regulations. Give proper credit when need be. Provide government mandated benefits such as SSS, Philhealth, and more. Think of their families first and your drivers will definitely perform well.

2. Mandatory and/or Random Drug Testing

Do you remember the cab driver who allegedly cursed and hurt the passenger for not agreeing to pay the P250 fare? In case, you missed it, read the full article here. Rude Driver Showed Up at LTFRB and Refuses to Undergo Drug Testing.

According to the netizen, because of the bad behavior, it looked like the driver was under the influence of illegal drugs. Unfortunately, when the driver came to the LTFRB to defend himself, he apparently, refused to undergo drug testing.

drug test

Source: gmanetwork.com

According to GMA report, LTO was able to manage 6000 drug users off the streets in 2013, due to the drug testing program. Obviously, it’s already mandatory for all license applicants, unfortunately, still insufficient.

Now, this could have been easily prevented should the cab operators strongly implement this. ALL CAB OPERATORS must implement a mandatory or random drug testing requirement BEFORE and DURING (random) employment.

I cannot say anything further, as this is pretty basic.

1. Lower Boundary Rate

I will not sugarcoat this, but this is the main reason why some cab drivers are becoming harsh to passengers – the boundary system.

A boundary system is a system implemented by cab operators to their respective drivers. They ask for a minimum amount on top of what supposed to be their take-home pay. Realistically, with how horrible the traffic nowadays, I don’t think these drivers can fulfill their “boundary” anymore. So, what are they going to do? They would pull off 24-hour shifts and/or drive recklessly so they can arrive at their destination faster. Moreover, they would pick and choose passengers for their own benefit, which is clearly not a public service.

Relatively, the higher the boundary amount is, the higher of chances of reckless driving and instances of drug use because they need to hit the quota fast. Medical studies have shown that lack of sleep can make a person feel cranky and sleepy.

I’ve also learned from a taxi driver driving an old model that the boundary rate is the same even though their car looks dilapidated. I strongly believe that cab operators must adjust the rate accordingly.

Whether this is true or not, drugs can ruin you physically and mentally. With this boundary system, not only do you put the passengers in danger but also the health of your drivers. No one can stay up for 24 hours and be in the right state of mind. Imagine a person who doesn’t have money and not enough sleep? That driver is like a bomb waiting to explode!

meme sleepless

I have nothing against the boundary rate because that’s only way operators or vehicle owners earn. However, it has to be a win-win situation. Because, if these private booking apps can live without pulling off a 24-hour shift, so can these taxi drivers.

According to the drivers I spoke to (who prefer to be anonymous) said: “ang mayayaman lang ang lalong yumayaman.” (Only rich is getting richer, and the poor is getting poorer).

Hungry for Change

Every time we encounter issues about the Philippines’ behavior and discipline, we are always quick to judge and throw our two cents in. But, we are never eager to do things the right way.

If we are hungry for change, let’s start from within. If you think you can make a difference, try and help. We cannot wait for our government employees and so-called leaders to act on it, as they can only do so much.

Let’s help change the game. As the popular song says, “It takes two to make a thing go right.”

If you could suggest one thing operators should change or implement, what would it be? Share your thoughts below.

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