R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

It’s time to update an old topic: No Shows/Last Minute Cancellations.

A while ago I told you that we instituted a policy of getting a non-refundable deposit for all first time users because of the many instances of people calling us and not being there when our taxi showed up because they called another cab, fell asleep, changed their mind, etc or cancelling when our taxi was almost at the requested pick up point because a friend/relative/neighbor was found to fill their needs.

When you rationally think about it, everyone I explain this situation to in person agrees that that sort of behavior (breaking a verbal contract) is wrong.  However, it seems that most every time we let our guard down and try to take a caller at their word, we get burned.  I’m not talking about homeless people or felons, I am talking about a professional business woman that needs to get to work because of a dead battery, or a person who needs to get to a doctor’s appointment because their garage door doesn’t function, holding their car hostage.  Seemingly good people in bad situations, yes?  That’s the kind of situation that melted our heart …so it could get stomped on.

The purpose of this post (rant?) is to remind anyone that reads it to remember that taxi drivers are people too.  They deserve respect, especially when they are expending their time and money to fulfill their part of a verbal contract.  They don’t need people stealing from them.  Traveling to a destination, sometimes up to 10 miles or more, represents an investment/expenditure on their part and should be treated as an obligation on the part of the person who requested their services.

Please consider this when you next call for a taxi.  Respect.

ABLE TAXI… WHAT A BRIGHT IDEA!

Welcome Back

Hello Northeast Wisconsin!

It has been quite a while since my last post.  Due to a family tragedy, my heart just hasn’t been where it should and I apologize for that.

Our first real snow arrived a couple of days ago on a Green Bay Packers game day and I witnessed a situation that needs to be addressed in hopes of saving lives.

So many pedestrians nowadays take advantage of their rights when crossing the street, whether it is purposefully walking slow while in the crosswalk or by just walking straight into it when the light tells them to.  It’s the second behavior that I want to highlight today.

As a pedestrian going into a crosswalk you DO have the right of way and vehicles are required by LAW to stop for you.  However, it is your duty to look before you get into that crosswalk to ensure that no vehicle has the potential to hit you because, for example, they were already mostly through the intersection before the light turned red for them and green for you.

I saw a different twist on this on Sunday.  A pedestrian walked into the crosswalk (without turning their head) as the light turned green and a vehicle in the lane closest to him/her (bundled up) tried to stop but started sliding because of the slick roads.  Remember, you don’t have to be going fast to lose traction and it didn’t appear that the vehicle was speeding or anything like that.

Luckily, the car arrived at and stopped in the crosswalk just ahead of the pedestrian and no impact happened.  It could have been much, much worse.

The lesson: Look both ways before crossing the street.  I am not sure how this simple teaching has gone by the wayside over the years, but it sure needs to make a comeback, in this taxi driver’s opinion.  I could show many examples from our dash cameras of pedestrians acting like the crosswalk was no different than the sidewalk.  This does not even involve distractions like cell phones or full headphones.

Please be safe and if you feel you are impaired or otherwise unable to safely get from Point A to Point B, please consider a call or text to Able Taxi and Tours at (920) 265-7760.

ABLE TAXI… WHAT A BRIGHT IDEA!!

So Many Things…

It’s been about a month since Able Taxi’s last Blog post, and a bunch of new things have happened that we feel need to be shared.

Vehicles:

Able Taxi now has a 2010 Chrysler Town & Country Limited, a 2009 Chrysler Town & Country Limited, a 2007 Chevrolet Impala and on Monday our newest acquisition, a 2006 Toyota Sienna XLE will be inspected by the Green Bay Police so it will be fully licensed for use. The only vehicle that we still have from our previous group of vehicles is a 2001 Oldsmobile Silhouette; still a great vehicle, but we are continually striving to improve the quality of our offerings. These upgrades put us pretty close (if not at) the top of the Green Bay taxi food chain as far as equipment goes. And, of course, they are all orange. 🙂 We haven’t decided what we are going to do with our two recently retired vehicles, yet.

Drivers:

Able Taxi has two fantastic drivers in Todd (Appleton) and Dennis (Green Bay). We could not ask for any better employees or people. However, we still are in need of (and are seeking) more drivers, so if you know any non-smoking, outgoing and well-mannered person who is retired and can’t stand being cooped up at home, or someone who just has an interest in being one of our drivers, have them send their information to us at taxi@abletaxiandtours.com.

Benefits:

In addition to being the only taxi company in the Green Bay area to offer minimum earnings guarantees, Able Taxi is on it’s way to becoming perhaps the first ever taxi company in Green Bay to offer a Dental Insurance program to it’s employees. We are very excited about that prospect as well as our plan to then move on to adding Vision Insurance coverage as well in the future.

Business:

Because of the great services that we provide, Able Taxi was personally recommended to an international company specializing in online bookings for ground transportation services. They sought us out, and we will be an active affiliate with them in the near future. Think of Kayak or Trivago, but for ground transport.

Online:

Able Taxi just had Ritter~Knight tweak the abletaxiandtours.com website for organization and appearance. Look for major changes as we work with them to design and activate a fare estimator and then ultimately give you the ability to reserve one of our taxis directly from our website.

We invite you to reserve one of our taxis by texting or calling (920) 265-7760 or by emailing us (24 hours in advance) at info@abletaxiandtours.com. We book out pretty fast for Green Bay Packers home game days, so book early and book often.

ABLE TAXI… WHAT A BRIGHT IDEA!

It Was Just a Matter of Time

As the price of gasoline skyrocketed then came back down, you would think our overhead would be much better than a year ago, right? Well, for a while there, we were. If that was the only area that affected our operations, Able Taxi would indeed be doing better.

However, Able Taxi’s largest yearly expense just decided to take an even bigger bite from our piece of the pie. I am speaking of taxi insurance. (We currently carry $4 million in liability insurance alone.)

Apparently a couple of the major players in the taxi insurance industry in the USA decided to call it quits this last year, so the pool of potential insurers just got much smaller. I am not sure what the claims rates were for the taxi industry over the last few years, but they must have been substantial. Even though Able Taxi hasn’t had an “at fault” accident since we started, our basic liability insurance rates just went up by about 20%. That doesn’t include our rates for general liability, umbrella, workman’s compensation and unemployment insurance. We get to find out about those later this year and in early 2016.

The bottom line is this. Able Taxi has kept the same rates that it started with in 2012 until now. Most of our competition raised their rates substantially last year and now it looks like Able Taxi will have to follow suit.

Effective October 1, 2015, Able Taxi will be going to a $10.00 charge for the first three miles and then $3.00 per mile for each additional mile for our local rates. Mile number three actually will go down in price. This change will align us closer with the pricing structures of the major multi-vehicle taxi companies in the Green Bay Area, but we still will be less expensive than their published rates.

Our smoke free, clean and well maintained vehicles will still provide what we consider to be the best taxi rides in town. We will continue to upgrade our vehicles to newer models to improve upon the already great quality of our current fleet.

We would like to thank all of you that have used our services in the past and we look forward to helping you with your Northeast Wisconsin transportation needs in the future. Just email us at info@abletaxiandtours.com or call/text us at (920) 265-7760 to reserve your Able taxi for your next outing or trip to/from the Green Bay or Appleton airport.

ABLE TAXI… WHAT A BRIGHT IDEA!

Happy Birthday!!! #3

It’s August 15th and we all know what that means! Able Taxi is now three years old! Woot, Woot!!

Many positive things happened in Able’s third year. We continued to upgrade our fleet in order to provide even better transportation services to Green Bay, Appleton and the Fox Valley Area of Wisconsin. We became the primary local taxi provider for a large trucking firm headquartered in the Green Bay area, our service to Door County is expanding and we currently have all five of our vehicles fully manned and ready for the upcoming Green Bay Packers football season. In addition, we continue to be an official taxi lease holder at the (just re-named) Appleton International Airport.

Able Taxi continued it’s active membership in the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce and once again was a transportation vendor at the annual EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Able Taxi was featured in a major Chamber magazine and was referred to in a nice article in the Green Bay Press Gazette (see our Feb 11, 2015 blog post).

Our staff and drivers would like to thank those of you who helped us progress to this point and who gave us a chance to show what we can do. We look forward to an even brighter upcoming year, serving even more people that live and visit this area.

We invite you to look for one of our bright orange taxis and to call or text us at (920) 265-7760 to schedule your next trip anywhere is Wisconsin, whether it is to the airport or just to the mall.

ABLE TAXI…WHAT A BRIGHT IDEA!!

We’re Famous?

The following is the beginning of an article that was in last Sunday’s Green Bay Press-Gazette, written by Kendra Meinert:

A funny thing happened to Patrick Fabian on the way to the Green Bay Packers-Carolina Panthers game at Lambeau Field last October.
The actor had flown into Green Bay from a wedding in Texas. He was running late when he hailed a cab from a local father-son company to pick him up at the airport, take him to his hotel and then drop him off at the stadium. He went to pay his fare and discovered none of his credit cards were working, and he was cashless.
The driver handed him his business card and told him, “I’ll tell you what, when you figure it out, give us a call and we’ll settle up then. Don’t want you to miss the game.'”
“For me, after being in Green Bay the last 10 years, it was exactly a microcosm of everything I like about Green Bay,” Fabian said. “People trying to help you. People being honest and good. Oh yeah, and Jordy Nelson scores a touchdown.”

Score one for good customer service and being in tune with a customer’s needs.

Just wanted to share this with you. Yes, it was us. Yes, we are OK with not being mentioned by name. It was nice that he remembered the experience.

We look forward to helping you experience quality taxi customer service in the Green Bay and Appleton areas. Just give us a call/text at (920) 265-7760 or email us at info@abletaxiandtours.com and let us show you how we can make your next trip a positive and memorable experience.

ABLE TAXI… WHAT A BRIGHT IDEA!

It’s Just Like Shoplifting

As you may know, the average cost of most goods and services goes up when some portion of them are stolen or misappropriated.  For example, if a retail store has 1% of it’s products taken illegally, then they have to raise the price of the rest of the goods to make up for not only the loss, but all of the steps that have to be taken to protect against recurring shoplifting.

One example of fraudulent retail activity for you to consider, maybe a tad far-fetched in this instance, would be if you called three pizza places for delivery and then only paid for the first pizza that showed up and refused the rest.  Pretty outlandish, yes?

However, local taxi businesses are currently experiencing fraud not much different from that pizza delivery example.  In our experience, our company can have as much as 50% of our weekend night calls turn into “Ghost Runs” (see previous posts), especially around the time that most bars close.  People will call multiple cab companies and then take the first taxi that shows up, regardless of the verbal contract they established with us when they made their reservations.  Passengers can also be tricked into getting into the wrong taxi by unscrupulous taxi drivers that are only out to make as much money as they can, with no regard to ethics (and sometimes morals).

However it happens, when a taxi driver expends time and money to travel to a scheduled pick up location and there is no one there, that taxi company and driver just had money stolen from them.  In addition, their dispatcher may have had to turn away other legitimate passengers while that driver was on their way to being defrauded.

Any taxi company has a couple of options to combat this type of fraud.  First, they can raise their prices to make up for the theft. With this option it is harder to determine what the price increase should be, since one night they may have no Ghost Runs and the next they may have ten.  Another option is to require a commitment on the part of passengers when they reserve a taxi for their use so they take ownership of their decisions.  This option takes the form of a deposit or cancellation fee.  Even Uber, the criminal enterprise (as named in a recent lawsuit), has an automatic cancellation fee that is charged to their credit card if a passenger doesn’t fulfill their side of the reservation contract.

Able Taxi and Tours LLC is now going for the second option.  Starting immediately, when someone calls to reserve a taxi ride, our dispatcher will ask for credit or debit card information and will charge a non-refundable deposit in the amount of $5 for regular fares and $15 for event fares.  Once the taxi ride is over, the passenger will only have to pay for the mileage they used, because our pick up fee will have already been taken care of.

In times of heavy call volume, like after a Packers Game, if you are on our waiting list we will not require a deposit.  Credit or debit card information will only be requested when a taxi is ready to be directly dispatched to that passenger.  This extra step will slow down our dispatch team, but hopefully it will solve the problem of defrauding our taxi company.  All credit or debit card information will be rendered unusable after the deposit transaction is approved by our processor.

As Able Taxi completes another calendar year in business, we are striving to learn and grow in our industry.  We thank you for using our services and we look forward to growing much more in 2015.  Remember to call/text us at (920) 265-7760 or email us at info@abletaxiandtours.com to reserve your New Years Eve travel as early as possible.  It’s going to be a busy night.

ABLE TAXI… WHAT A BRIGHT IDEA!

Supply and Demand

Let’s talk about how supply and demand affects parts of the Green Bay area during the Packers season.

Local hotels get booked up pretty fast just after the schedule is published for the upcoming football season.  The demand is so great that many local hotels have gone to a two night minimum, with rates up to 400 percent of a regular night’s stay.  That is supply and demand at work.  With a fixed supply, the more demand, the higher the price.

During most of the year, the demand for taxis in Green Bay is moderate to low, if you ignore the hours of 1:00 AM to 2:30 AM on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  The “bar scene” demand many times exceeds the supply during those times.  I am unaware of any taxi company that has rates that officially change during those times.

During Packers Game Day (and for some taxi companies, the entire weekend) taxi fare rates increase.  The difference for Able Taxi fare rates between regular local and game day local is $10.  If a taxi stays around the Green Bay/DePere/Howard area, most taxi game day rates are unaffected.  If you come in to Green Bay from a distance of over 25 miles or so before a game, when the demand is raised, but not overwhelming, our rate also stays the same.

However, if you want to have the convenience of leaving the Green Bay area right after a Packers game, during “gridlock” traffic, there will be a surcharge for that trip.  The main reason for the surcharge is that you will be taking that driver and taxi out of the “earning area” for an extended period of time.  There are allegedly more than a few local taxi companies that will not even allow their drivers leave the Green Bay area just because of that potential loss of earnings.

We occasionally get emails asking for distance travel like that described above.  Rates to the game and back from the game are given and approximately half of the time they are accepted.  Either way, no one gets into one of our taxis for an out of area ride without knowing the amount of the cash fare.

Whether you agree with this principle of supply and demand or not, the bottom line is Able Taxi can get you home safely, anywhere in Wisconsin, at a fraction of the cost of a possible DUI conviction, without the repercussions of that conviction.

Book your reservations early for your next Green Bay Packers game.  Our number is (920) 265-7760 for phone or text reservations, or you can email us at info@abletaxiandtours.com.

ABLE TAXI… WHAT A BRIGHT IDEA!

… and your little dog too!

It seems like new situations crop up for us here at Able Taxi and Tours LLC all the time.  Just when you think you understand something, a variation comes along and causes change.

Today’s brief topic is on the exemption that taxis have to the seat belt law in Wisconsin.  Disclaimer:  most of this information came from my insurance guru (agent).

Good news is you are apparently exempt from the mandatory use of seat belts while riding in a taxi in Wisconsin.  Not the best idea, but maybe the authors of the statute were worried about compliance and enforcement when dealing with impaired passengers.  I am sure somebody knows why.

In the same vein, that exemption also applies to child restraint systems.  Even worse idea, in my opinion, but apparently you can have any size child sitting on your lap or seat belted just like an adult.

“Way cool!”, you might say.  “I can get my small children from point A to point B and not have to lug those stupid carriers around”.

Not so fast.

While the exemption exists for kids and their carriers, no insurance carrier operating in Wisconsin will cover injuries to children if they are not in an approved child restraint.

Best advice:  Children grow up fast and soon will not need a safety seat.  Protect what you Love.  Bring child seats when riding in a taxi, just in case.

We look forward to getting you and your loved ones safely to your destination.  Just call us at (920) 265-7760 to schedule your next family outing.

ABLE TAXI… WHAT A BRIGHT IDEA!

Happy Birthday!! #2

August 15th is here again, and with it brings the second anniversary of the founding of Able Taxi and Tours LLC.

Our dedicated drivers and staff would like to thank everyone out there for their support and goodwill.  We are still having fun and providing great transportation services to the Green Bay and Appleton area.

If you would like to get to know us better and have us take you around town or the area, just call or text us and make your reservation at (920) 265-7760.

ABLE TAXI… WHAT A BRIGHT IDEA!