London taxis must remain visible in the capital or risk being forgotten says Sherbet London CEO.
Since coronavirus lockdown measures were introduced in March, only a fraction of the London taxi industry has continued working through the pandemic. As lockdown measures ease and journey numbers slowly increase, cabbies are being urged to provide a “positive London experience”.
The advice comes from Asher Moses, CEO and Founder of Sherbet London, who has also hinted that a rethink in strategy may be needed to cater for a new ’normal’ way of working.
There was also a suggestion from the taxi based booking app and fleet owner that suburban taxi drivers, known as ’Yellow Badge’ drivers, could become one of the first to recover economically from the effects of the coronavirus. It is thought that Yellow Badge cabbies could assist workers travelling directly to the city centre away from trains and buses as advised by the Government.
Asher Moses said: “We have to refocus on our skills, assets and on our unique selling point. We must also focus on communicating and demonstrating this fact to reassure drivers and passengers.
“We are the professionals who drive Londoners as a choice as a career, so we have to get it 100% right. We have to be visible in London no matter how hard it is otherwise we will be forgotten, and all our fares will end up in other forms of transport. We need to retain our customers through positivity and ensure they remember the positive London experience, so they will want to book us once again.
“Sherbet have been rethinking its strategy with a view that London will never be the same. Corporate workers have got so used to virtual meetings, they won’t be back again in the same way or frequency, so Sherbet have invested in great technology which helps predict demand in order to optimise rides. Our technology allows drivers to share taxis by day or shift. I also believe that the yellow badge suburban cab drivers could be the first to recover for city workers going to work.”
Like most taxi garages in the London and across the UK, Sherbet London have been doing their best to assist taxi drivers during the pandemic and also find new ways to help drivers choosing to return to work.
Asher Moses added: “Sherbet and many other fleets have gone such a long way to our drivers trying to work out a deal that benefits both the driver and fleet. We are all doing our utmost to rely trust on our drivers to pay something if they are using the taxi we started off with zero rent (like most fleets), but drivers was using their taxis for Social, Domestic and Pleasure (SDP) so we had to keep out insurance in place.
“We offered a day rate a shift rate and now our rents are at 50% until mid-July and we are still finding different ways to work to help drivers back to work.”