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  • Writer's pictureDamian Brzeski

7 tips on how to start working on a Taxi

In this article, I will tell you some valuable advice that will help you at the very beginning of your adventure with a taxi. I will try to go back these few years, to my beginnings in this profession and in a few points list those that you will not find in any regulations or law.


I will tell you some of the most important and basic information. I will try to write everything that I would like to read myself when I went out on the first day.


7 tips on how to start earning on Taxi. Graphics showing the inscription on the background of a taxi, encouraging you to read the guide for beginner taxi drivers

So now that you have your dream License in your hands, and the car is already armed with a set of markings required in your city, a legalized taximeter ... it's time to go for your first client. However, before you set off, you need to know, for example: how the taximeter works.


How to operate this device when you don't know how it works...

It would also be good to know the rules of working in a taxi - the official ones, known to everyone, but also the indescribable ones, which sometimes it's better not to learn the hard way.


How does the Taximeter work?


A seemingly simple matter - a black box that counts how much the customer has to pay. However, many people do not think about how this device works. In the times of taxi apps that give the customer the amount in bold print before the start of the trip, the operation of the taximeter is some kind of black magic...


You probably don't have a clue about it either, because where would you get it?

Even in Uber, the final amount is affected by a number of factors, which the algorithm counts, add commissions and taxes, and the customer sees only basic information in small print and the amount he has to pay. Just the action and counting the units, which makes up the amount that the customer will have to pay ... a difficult matter ... However, you do not need to know that.


How does a taximeter count? :

  • The taximeter counts the pulses, which are converted into PLN.

  • Every 100 meters is a certain number of impulses.

  • If you are driving slower - about 20 km/h or standing still, the taximeter starts counting pulses for time.


At the end of the course, when you close the receipt - "print it", the taximeter counts all impulses and converts them into PLN. It also adds the initial fee, and then sends this information to the Cash Register.


Simple right?


Remember this information. Customers often make the mistake of trying to calculate the cost of a trip. They multiply the kilometer rate, add the initial fee and they always get less than you on the receipt.


You will never get the same fee on the receipt as on the calculator. You will pass one longer light, you will stop in a tiny traffic jam and you already have a few zlotys more.


Remember that the hourly fee is only counted when you are driving below the speed limit: usually around 20 km/h and when you are standing with the taximeter on.


The initial fee, commonly known as "door slamming, is the minimum value for which you can perform the service. It includes the fee for the first kilometer of driving.


Thus, driving a 5 km course in ideal conditions, without unnecessary stops - at the end of the course the taximeter should indicate the amount for the initial fee + 4x the kilometer rate = the final amount.


Example: PLN 7 + 4x PLN 2.50 = PLN 17


How to use the TX06 taximeter and the Vega Taxi cash register?


All my career I use a set: TX06 taximeter from Novitus and a Vega Taxi cash register.


I believe that this is one of the best sets that could be installed at the time - especially with the newer Vaga cash registers, which print receipts very quickly.


The TX06 taximeter is very easy to use. Comfortable, and the display is very readable in all conditions. Unfortunately, this set is now practically impossible to buy as new. And the cashier taximeters that are currently being sold are a different, probably worse, pair of galoshes.


How to use a taximeter?

  • You can start the taximeter with the F button and use the same button to deactivate the taximeter.

  • You can activate the taximeter by pressing the >" right arrow key. After pressing this key, you will see Tariff number and initial amount, the device starts counting pulses from that moment, which will be signaled by a small flashing dot at the bottom of the screen.

  • After starting the taximeter, the Taxi "rooster" lamp connected to it will turn off.



Note: You will not activate the Taximeter while driving, the vehicle must be stationary.

The same - you won't start the taximeter without a cash register connected to it!


  • During the operation of the taximeter, use the < , > arrows to select the Tariff.

  • When you want to end the course, the car must be stationary - you press the F" button.

  • After the first press, the taximeter stops, after the second press the inscription PAY will appear, and below "Pr" the cash register will start printing the receipt.

  • If you have added the additional fees option, at this point the cash register will ask you to choose: whether you want to print a receipt or add an additional fee. Then you press on the cash register: "OK" and print the receipt. If your cash register does not save a copy to the SD card, press "OK" again to print a copy.



Now you're ready for your next trip with another satisfied customer.


Note: always remember to give the customer a receipt - it is your responsibility. Rarely, but still, there are hidden checks of the tax office and an unissued receipt, it's the stupidest way to lose a few hundred.



How to enable a discount on a taximeter?


Sometimes you want or need to use the Discount function. If you work for a taxi corporation, regular customers, contractors or others often have some discount thresholds. When legalizing the cash register, you can choose the amount of subsequent discount thresholds, and even their order. These are predefined values - up to ten items to choose from.


  • To activate thediscount function, you need to cut the Down arrow on the Vega Taxi cash register, then you will be able to choose from: discount thresholds expressed in % , e.g. 10%, 20%, 50%.

  • You choose the option you are interested in and press OK.

  • If you run "Discount" before starting the taximeter, it will be remembered until the taximeter starts working.

  • If you first started Taximeter, then from now on you have a minute or 500 metersto start the discount function. After this time or after driving 500 meters, the discount function is blocked.



What is a contract price and how to use it?


Imagine the situation: you are standing at a stop and a customer approaches you. He asks how much will you take him to, for example, the Railway Station?


You tell him that, according to the taximeter, it will cost, for example, about PLN 60. The customer will offer you, say, PLN 50. In fact, you wanted to finish the work, so you agree.


You must enable the contract price option for the customer, otherwise the taximeter will count according to the units programmed in it. If you are taxed on your income, you will pay tax on the amount indicated by the taximeter. The customer may be happy that he will put a higher amount in the costs, but it's not about sponsoring customers.


  • To run contract price the same as with the "discount" option, you take the cash register in your hand. This time I press "right arrow".

  • The Price option will appear and a field to enter the amount next to it. Change the digital value with "arrows up/ down" and add it with "left/right" arrows, then confirm with "OK< /strong>".

  • When you start the taximeter, it will start counting units according to what you have set. AGREEMENT will appear below it. After finishing the ride and pressing "F", the counted amount will disappear and the one you previously entered on the cash register will appear in its place.


Note: The receipt will show the contractual amount and the amount the customer would pay if he drove normally.



Daily Report and Monthly Report


The last option you'll use often is cash reports. At the end of each day, you are required to print a daily report,and at the end of the month a monthly report.


  • To print the report, you must press the OK button on your cash register.

Arrow down select Reports and confirm "OK". In the next menu, select the report you are interested in and similarly by clicking the arrows and confirming "ok", print the report.




Taximeter failure, taximeter hanged


The taximeter can sometimes freeze and, for example, not respond to commands.

  • When something like this happens, check your Cash Register connection first. Sometimes it is worth disconnecting the cash register and reconnecting it.

  • Sometimes it happens that you don't want to print the receipt, then it's best to check the connection.

  • However, when your taximeter has crashed, it is worth trying to reset the taximeter. To reset the tx06 taximeter, you must press and hold the "F" button for several seconds.

  • If this option doesn't work, then all you have to do is hard reset - remove the fuse on the taximeter harness for a while.


Fun fact: The taximeter can also inform you about the need to replace the battery ;D

If you notice the message UL, especially after starting the car with the taximeter turned on - this means a voltage drop that is detected by the taximeter.


Most of the time, it's enough to charge the battery well, but when your battery has been with you for several years, it may mean that it's time to replace it.


A little bonus at the end.

Instructional video to help you change the time to summer or winter time


What are taxi fares and zones?


Since you already know how to turn on a taximeter, and you also know how to print a receipt, the next topic worth discussing is what are tariffs and when are they applied?

Take a look at your taxi price list. You can see the division into four tariffs, the initial fee and the hourly fee.


  1. First tariff - this is the basic tariff you use during the day.

  2. Tariff two - this is still the basic tariff, but you use it at night and on Sundays and holidays("marked in red in the calendar ").

  3. Third tariff - this is the tariff you use on a regular day when you go outside the municipality where you have a license or pass the sign Zone 2< /strong>”, if there is one in your municipality.

  4. Fourth tariff - similar to the third tariff, except that you use it on Sundays and Holidays.

  • Tariffs 3 and 4 are the so-called return fares.

  • So 1 and 3 are weekday fares, and 2 and 4 are Sunday-holiday fares.


Note: If you are in the course of a course and it is past 10:00 pm or 6:00 am, then you are obliged to change the tariff to the appropriate one.

If you are making a trip outside the borders of the commune, then you return back to the commune in which you have a license - in this case you are not entitled to use the return fare.


Who is "Beret"? What is the breakdown among taxi drivers?


If, like me, a few years ago you knew only what an average city resident knew about the taxi, now I will explain to you a little about what this profession looks like from the inside out.


Just as every region of Poland has its own dialect, people use professional slang in various professions. I will focus on the taxi slang used in the Tri-City due to the fact that I worked most of my career in Gdańsk and its vicinity.


Finally, I will introduce you to the division between taxi drivers that has been created and is in force. I will also tell you what you should know so as not to make your work more difficult and how not to lead to nervous situations with other taxi drivers.


Beret


Let's warm up with the title "Beret". Where did this phrase come from and what does it mean now?


By the logic of the beret and assigning this name to taxi drivers, it could have its genesis in the headgear: "beret" / "cap" once worn by drivers.

It is most likely that the taxi driver was named a beret not from the cap, but from the cover put on the "taxi lamp - in the environment someone called this cover a beret and it stayed that way.


By the way, I wonder if anyone today still cares that when not working, the "Taxi Lamp" should be removed from the car or covered. All so as not to mislead customers. It also irritates me personally when the new generation of taxi drivers permanently turns on the "rooster" backlight.


Once, a signaling device was mounted on the windshield, which informed with a suitable lamp what the status of the taxi was. Currently, this role has been taken over by the beacon itself, which is/should be illuminated when the taxi is free, and when it is occupied, this illumination should go out.


Currently, Berets are called the main non-associated taxi drivers, i.e. "little roosters".


Are there any Minks here?


Many "Norks" will think of a character from one of the series broadcast on Polsat for years.


Nothing more wrong. Minks - taxi drivers call customers from Norway or Scandinavia in general, due to the fact that the average taxi driver does not distinguish between Swedish and Norwegian.


How much


When you hear the title "How much" /Chał macz/ and all the variations of "Hałmacz" you can be sure that your colleague from the taxi stand is not asking the other colleague about the price of pickled cucumbers, but they are discussing a foreign-language customer who speaks English ;)


While standing at a stopover, you will hear the title "What price" several times a day and you will start saying "how matches" to English-speaking customers.


For the wardrobe


Personally, I really like that wording. In other words, a wardrobe is a taximeter, and when someone says that they went "to the wardrobe", they did not jump on the piece of furniture, but made a course with the client, which was calculated using a taximeter, not the contract price.


Levus


You know he's a scammer. Taxi drivers most often call other taxi drivers "lefties" using transport applications such as: Uber, Bolt, FreeNow.


It came from the fact that not so long ago in Polish law there was no such thing as a taxi for an application. Any driver using an app like Uber knowingly or not breaking the law.


On a pole


Finally, another of my favourites. I must admit that most of the vocabulary used by taxi drivers can or worse has a negative connotation.


When you say you're "on a pole," you're not talking about a billboard, you're talking about standing at a taxi rank. In the Highway Code, a taxi rank is always marked with the Taxi sign.

This sign is colloquially called a post, so if someone is standing "on the post" they are simply at work ;D


Now that you know the nuances of the Latin-rich language used by taxi drivers, you know what to call them. For example, those working in a Taxi Corporation or an association are simply "Corporate".


Berets" are all non-branded taxi companies, freelancers.

And the users of the application are Lefties, Ubers, Bolty, FreeKały, Bolce, Stolce ... and many others definitely more vulgar.


An advertising banner with a GSM phone and a taxi symbolizing the Taxi application on the phone

Where can I find a taxi client?


I have already written about it in one of my earlier blog articles, and I warmly invite you to read it: How to start earning as a taxi driver?


I remember the riddle I had, what should I do? Where to stand on the first day of work for a taxi.

In my case, it was so simple that I started my adventure with a taxi at the same time as the beginning of the St. Dominica.


I stopped at the entrance to Targ Węglowy because I noticed that there was another taxi driver standing there and that's how it all started.


Today times have changed a bit, even though only a few years have passed. Now, however, I would recommend you to start your work with a corporation or association. There they will guide you exactly: what, where and how.


For sure your new "colleagues" will be more kind when you pull one trolley under the banner of a taxi corporation. Standing at the ranks between private taxi drivers, you will sooner get a kick than good advice.


However, so that you don't leave in disgust, I will tell you a few basic places where you will hunt down your valuable client.


  1. Nearby train/bus stations- if someone came by train, they probably still have to get somewhere further.

  2. Discos and nightclubs - after a few beers at 4 am hardly anyone wants to walk anymore.

  3. Tourist spots - exits from museums, amusement parks, viewpoints, beaches and promenades.

  4. Theaters and operas- these are the places where clients come dressed in gala clothes, so they probably came by taxi. And if they came, they'd rather take a taxi back.

  5. Ferry terminals and airports - what can I say, it's as obvious as the sun by day and the moon by night.


Note: If you want to earn sensibly, adapt your schedule to the potential client. Never the other way around. Make friends with the calendar/schedule. Note down the dates of sports events, concerts, mass events, matches, etc. Always be there where many people will want to return home at one moment.


A taxi stand where more than one taxi driver will work

How to serve taxi passengers?


In one of my previous articles, I wrote about how a passenger should be served in order to have a chance of a tip - "tipa". This text caused quite a stir. They accused me of not knowing each other, that times have changed and today a taxi driver is no longer "Mr. Taxi Driver" but some garbage. And if this is how our customers treat us, then we have to treat them like garbage too.


Remember one thing. Treat another person at least as well as you would like to be treated yourself. No one wants to be trash, neither do you… So treat your passengers with the dignity they deserve. They pay you, so they deserve professional service.


The approach from the previous paragraph is represented by application users. It is not by chance that Uber is said to have spoiled the market. This is most often said in the context of lowering fares.


However, it also has a second bottom. Uber and similar apps also lower the standard of service. The passenger is no longer your friend who will reward you with a tip after a good exchange rate. It is a commodity that is treated like a sack of potatoes.


If you want to work in this profession. And I assume you do, since you've read up to this point.


Don't follow those who do the job badly. Take inspiration from the best.


  1. Be nice and polite.

  2. If your passenger is rude, you better bite your tongue and do your thing.

  3. Drive smoothly.

  4. Don't drive too fast or too slow.

  5. Help with luggage.

  6. Be helpful, like a good city guide.

  7. Keep your car clean, this is your office.

  8. Take care of your hygiene as if you were going on a date.

  9. If you are a smoker, your car is now a smoke-free zone. Keeping a dick outside the window is still smoking in the car.

  10. Use Google navigation, preferably so that the customer can see it too. When you change your route, inform the customer why.


Taxi driver helping to carry the suitcases to the car

What not to do as a taxi driver?


This chapter should be called "how to cheat a customer" since it's a guide for taxi drivers.

But it won't be called that, because in my opinion this approach is represented by black sheep, only harming our environment.


Do you want to earn more? Do your job better than others.


  • Don't drive around town unless the client asks you to. If you think that a route that is longer will be faster in practice, it is best to ask the client if he agrees to it. Passengers are very sensitive to the frauds of taxi drivers in the form of driving them around the city, if only the taximeter would count more kilometers.

  • Do not cover the taximeter. It is best to keep your hands away so that no one will accuse you of manipulation.

  • Don't talk when the conversation doesn't stick. Try to feel if someone wants to sit in silence or prefer to talk. Don't force it.

  • Don't talk on the phone while traveling with a passenger. Do not use a hand-held phone.

  • Do not eat and preferably do not drink while driving with a passenger.

  • Don't listen to controversial music, just like don't listen too loud.

  • If you have air conditioning, don't cool your car down to 18 degrees, and don't go crazy in winter.

  • Avoid topics about politics, religion, earnings, war, covid, immigrants, gays and lesbians, lgbt. Avoid all tests that polarize society.



At the end of the day, remember


Don't give up. The first few days and weeks will probably be hard. Everything will be new to you.

If you get it wrong, apologize to the customer and tell them you're new. Ask how much he usually pays for a similar route and you'll lower his receipt if he spends more.


Don't give up when you meet unpleasant colleagues in a taxi - you are at work and colleagues are sought outside of work.


Try to be the best, and sooner or later your customers will reward you.

Good luck. Wide road and rubber trees. ;)

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