A taxi driver transports people or cargo to their intended destination safely and in a timely manner. They may work for an employer, or may work on their own and have several different titles such as cab driver, chauffeur, limousine driver, shuttle driver, and others.
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How to Become a Taxi Driver (Chauffeur)
A taxi driver usually needs a high school diploma or the equivalent along with a valid drivers license. It is typically expected that you have some experience in a related field if working for an employer. However, if you have no experience there are some organizations that offer recognized apprenticeship programs.
An employer normally gives you anywhere from a few months to a year of on-the-job training working with an experienced employee. You must also learn about public safety and security and always monitor for hazards both on the road, off the road, and even potential disruptive passengers in your vehicle. It’s important to have good customer service and active listening skills.
Job Description of a Taxi Driver (Chauffeur)
A taxi driver must transport passengers or cargo to any given location ensuring all safety regulations are followed. Prior to their shift they test and inspect their vehicle to ensure it is in good operating condition and check items such as lights, brakes, the horn, and the fluids. When it comes to servicing passengers, they may also assist them with any luggage and help them enter and exit the vehicle when necessary.
Communication is key, as a driver gathers information needed to successfully transport passengers or cargo from a cell phone or computer, their employer, or directly from a customer. They must communicate that they are in route and when they have successfully completed the delivery of people or goods as well. in a courteous and efficient manner.
Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs Career Video Transcript
Taxi drivers, ride-hailing drivers, and chauffeurs drive passengers to and from the places they need to go— whether they’re in a big hurry, or prefer to arrive in style. They must know their local area in detail, including popular destinations, emergency services, and the routes that best avoid rush hour traffic. Drivers follow local regulations, and keep tabs on weather and road conditions that affect driving.
Taxi drivers pick up passengers from taxi lines at airports and hotels, or respond to dispatcher calls to pick up a customer. They charge based on a meter that runs while driving, and take breaks between passengers. Ride-hailing drivers set their own hours, and use their personal vehicles to pick up passengers who request service through a smartphone app. Chauffeurs drive limousines or private cars to take passengers on prescheduled trips. They may work for one person, a business or government agency, or drive a large hotel van. Para-transit drivers operate vehicles equipped with wheelchair lifts and other equipment to accommodate elderly passengers, or those with disabilities.
Though many taxi drivers and chauffeurs work full-time, part-time driving is not uncommon. Schedules may include late nights, early mornings, weekends, and holidays. Drivers experience the stress of heavy traffic, and must load heavy baggage. Drivers must have a regular driver’s license, but there are no formal education requirements… on-the-job training may be provided. Some positions also require a taxi or limousine license.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs.
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