I've been an uber/lyft driver from the summer of 2015, after several fare cuts, saturation of too many drivers, and terrible customer support, I decided to start driving a taxi for a privately owned taxi company here in Johnson county. My first week, leased a 7 year old black town car and relied upon the company's "dispatch system" which was text and voice calls to get requests. My mentor, whom has been in the taxi business for about 10 years, has been honest and helpful with guiding me into this profession.
I went to the KCI Police department and got my airport credentials, took about an hour, finger printed and photo for background check with the TSA. They gave me a handout that explains the procedure I would be using and gave me a print out of regulations to follow. I went to regulated industries and filled out the paper work for a "livery" permit as the company is considered a livery not taxi. I was coached and mentored in how to deal with the "dispatch" system, how to approach the desk clerks at the different hotels and how to quickly figure fares, as we don't have meters in the car. First day I made well over the weekly lease amount and was very encouraged, the passengers have been about like I experienced with uber and lyft, EXCEPT, I get tipped on almost every ride. About half the rides are cash, the rest are CC which I accept using the Square point of sale system. Fare structure is pretty close what we see posted on the sides of the standard yellow cabs running around town. This next week I will be introduced to some other "dispatch" systems being used by private cabs here in KC, these are subscriber based and unless you are leasing a vehicle from their company, you have to pay to play.
My fuel costs went up, as this towncar doesn't get as good mileage as my other vehicle, (2016 subaru outback) but I should have the monies to pay my commercial insurance in full for six months in about a month. The skills learned in finding addresses, calling the passenger to verify pickup location, being personable and knowing when the rider wants to talk and when they don't are all the same with this service as they were with uber/lyft. I'm enjoying the work, and look forward to improving my business skills. Yes, it's more work, as I have to finish getting all the permits and inspections done to get my own taxi, but the lease option is sustainable and fare to both me and the owner.
Because of the very competitive nature of the taxi/limo business, I won't be reveling any names or companies out of respect for those who have reached out to me and offered to help me learn how to be a successful taxi/limo driver. To all my friends up at lot c, thank you for the last couple of years, may you prosper and be blessed. And to Shelly B @ 909 walnut, no your dog is not welcome in my car... lol