Hong Kong’s taxi industry is trying to improve its reputation

Flickr/Tauno Tõhk / 陶诺

To the people running the Hong Kong Taxi Council’s campaign to boost the taxi industry’s reputation: good luck to ya.

As part of efforts to improve customer service, the council has announced it will place 30 courtesy ambassadors in high-demand areas, Headline Daily reported. The goal is to welcome passengers and smooth over any misunderstandings between drivers and customers.

The ambassadors, who are college students, will be stationed around the city for three months, at which point the council hopes the government will recognize the value of the program and take over. Taxis will also get stickers reminding both drivers and passengers to be polite.

The initiative comes several weeks after the government proposed a demerit points system that would dock points from a driver for committing any of 18 offenses. LegCo is set to discuss the idea, which has been unpopular with some drivers, in July.

The taxi industry’s courtesy campaign is now in its second year.

The Transport Complaints Bureau received 2,720 reports about taxi services in the first quarter of 2018 — a 10 percent decrease from the previous quarter. But if recent taxi accidents, reports of overcharging and oh, that time a driver punched a passenger are any indication, we’d say the council still has quite a bit of work to do.

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