CAREERS: Taxi Drivers, Ride-Hailing Drivers, and Chauffeurs
Updated: Jul 8, 2019
Taxi drivers, ride-hailing drivers, and chauffeurs typically do the following:
· Drive taxicabs, limousines, company cars, or privately owned vehicles to transport
· Pick up passengers and listen to where they want to go
· Help passengers load and unload their luggage
· Obey all traffic laws
· Check the car for problems and do basic maintenance
· Keep the inside and outside of their car clean
· Operate wheelchair lifts when needed
· Keep a record of miles traveled
Taxi drivers, ride-hailing drivers, and chauffeurs must stay alert and watch the conditions of the road. They have to take precautions to ensure their passengers’ safety, especially in heavy traffic or bad weather. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs must also follow vehicle-for-hire or livery regulations, such as where they can pick up passengers and how much they can charge.
Good drivers are familiar with the streets in the areas they serve. They choose the most efficient routes, considering the traffic at that time of day. They know where the most often sought destinations are, such as airports, train stations, convention centers, hotels, and other points of interest. They also know where to find fire and police stations and hospitals in case of an emergency.
The following are examples of types of taxi drivers, ride-hailing drivers, and chauffeurs:
Taxi drivers, also called cabdrivers or cabbies, use a meter to calculate the fare when a passenger requests a destination. Many customers request a cab by calling a central dispatcher who then tells the taxi driver the pickup location. Some drivers pick up passengers waiting in lines at cabstands or in the taxi line at airports, train stations, and hotels. Cabbies drive around the streets looking for passengers in some large cities.
Ride-hailing drivers pick up passengers who seek service through a smartphone app. The fare rate can fluctuate depending on demand; however, passengers are notified if the current fare rate is higher than usual. Passengers pay for rides through a credit card linked to the app. Drivers use their own private vehicles and set their own hours.
Chauffeurs take passengers on prearranged trips. They drive limousines, vans, or private cars. They may work for hire for single trips, or they may work for a person, a private business, or for a government agency. Customer service is important for chauffeurs, especially luxury vehicle drivers. Some do the duties of executive assistants, acting as driver, secretary, and itinerary planner. Other chauffeurs drive large vans between airports or train stations and hotels.
Paratransit drivers transport people with special needs, such as the elderly or those with disabilities. They drive specially equipped vehicles designed to help people with various needs in non-emergency situations. For example, their vehicles may be equipped with wheelchair lifts, and the driver helps a passenger with boarding.