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No rash decision, cabbies take etiquette lessons

Nov 21, 2007 10:47 PM IST India India

Mumbai: Did you ever get stuck in a Mumbai cab with a rude, tobacco-chewing driver at the wheel, driving rashly and making your travel on traffic-ridden roads even more miserable? Well, all that may change now with special etiquette classes being organised for cab drivers to make commuting a better experience for Mumbaikars.

The training sessions don’t look anything short of a conference in a corporate office and the trainees, who are part of a mandatory programme on driving etiquette, seemed quite at ease with the programme, which has been organised by Mumbai's region transport office along with a private fleet operator.

“They know driving but don't know about customer care. So, it’s a good way to learn,” GM Facilitation, V-Link, Ashutosh Vaidya said.

And as marketing gurus say ‘the customer is the king’ the taxi drivers were given tips on:

  • Personal hygiene

  • Cautious driving

  • Reseting the meter properly

  • Not to adjust the rearview mirror when a female passenger gets in the cab

  • Not to smoke or chew tobacco in the taxi

  • Play music of the customer's choice

In Mumbai, a taxi ride is considered to be a necessary evil. It is to change this very perception that the RTO has made this program compulsory. "Along with the taxis we wanted to upgrade the skills of the drivers,” Transport Commissioner S D Shinde said.

But taxi drivers’ opinions on this programme are divided. Mohammed Harun, a seasoned taxi driver said, “It is good and for our safety and one should know such things.”

While another driver Firoz said, “There is no point in doing these small meetings. One should have an understanding of such things first.”

So, here’s hoping that every taxi driver gets the message and cab rides become more pleasant in Mumbai.

(With inputs from Nimisha Srivastava)