Technology Refresh Coming!!
As part of ongoing effort to improve service and simplify driver support we wil be rolling out the following changes over the next two months:
New Driver App: Starting next week we will begin a phased rollout of the new Drivers App. The new app will be available for download from the Google Play and iTunes. For the initial rollout the drivers will come in and the technical support team will install the but you will be notified of future updates on the tablet. The new app will work on both phones and tablets. In the next phase of the rollout drivers will have the choice to use their personal phone as the Driver Information Module (DIM) if the device is over 6.0" display. Most smart phones are larger than 6.0 and should pose no problem. Divers opting to use their phones as the DIM will receive a discounted DTS fee. See new screens as shown on a tablet.
New Credit Card Device: We are testing an affordable wireless handheld credit card device to replace the wired back-seat device currently installed in the vehicle. We are looking at all options and are leaning towards the drivers owning this affordable portable device and reducing the MTS fees to accommodate the position shift. The installed tablets and Personal Information Monitor (PIM) are outdated and incompatible with new technologies being deployed. We will announce the second phase of the conversion after we receive regulatory approval to proceed with the rollout.
Open Message to YCDC Dispatch Fleet (6/11/22)
Abilities-Rides account (777) is a federally funded competitive-bid grant program. Yellow Cab Company submitted a competitive bid and was selected as one of the service providers for the program. Since federally funded programs only reimburses for mileage and DC taxicabs operate on a time-distance meter, YCDC submitted a competitive per mile rate plus a negotiated drop rate which included the standard ($3.50), dispatch fee of ($2.00) and recently a fuel surcharge fee ($1.00) for a total of $6.50 to help offset for the missing time-metering factor. Drivers are paid the standard $2.17 per mile plus the negotiated drop rate ($6.50) for each trip.
Abilities-Rides grew initially from 50 trips per day to now over 300 trips daily. The increasing trip growth is directly attributed to the extraordinary service and support received from most of the fleet that recognizes how much of a positive impact these 777 trips have had on them, the company, and the industry.
Recently a minority of drivers have adopted a deliberate stance of accepting 777 trips and giving them back to the dispatcher, accepting these trips and false completing or no-showing them. Now, the latest action by the group is going on break during certain time-periods like rush hour or in specific zones to avoid being offered one of these trips. These actions not ony impact service to 777 customers but also other grant programs serving seniors and clients going to and returning from medical appointments and dialysis. Additionally some of these actions are in direct violation of DCMR Title 31 regulation of refusal to transport. The main complaint from these drivers is they should be paid the full time and distance metered pricing for 777 trips even though the company also services other fixed rate grant programs like SME (333) and TDC (555).
We would always like to submit competitive bids that covers full-metered pricing per trip plus room to cover the company’s operating overhead and profitability. Unfortunately, that is not possible since we do not set or control the bid guidelines for the grants. We can only submit our best offer in a highly competitive environment and hope that is accepted. Of course, if there is room to increase driver compensation, as was recently done with TDC, we will do so but that opportunity is not available at this time.
Taxicab dispatching service is optional. Any driver who willingly joins a dispatch service agrees to adhere and follow the service policies and guidelines of that company. Yellow Cab company is primariy a dispatching service company with very strict service and operating guidelines. One of those policies is that drivers must run every voluntarily accepted trip that was offered or designated by the dispatch system. Another policy is that drivers cannot demand what trip or account types they will run or select which pickup areas those trips must originate from. Both actions are discriminatory and in violation of company’s zero tolerance policy. Any driver who disagrees with YCDC’s dispatch service policies can voluntarily leave the company. Continued violation of these policies will result in escalating service penalties and eventually the involuntary termination of the driver's dispatch service agreement with YCDC.
YCDC is committed to providing the highest level of service at all times with a driver fleet that shares these same service ideals. We will not allow deliberate and negative behavior or actions by a few to sully the company’s credibility and hard-earned service reputation. We highly commend and recognize those drivers who faithfully and unselfishly support and serve our valued customers. We are doubling our efforts to develop and bid on more business opportunities and will share with you as we finalize. Thanks for your continued support.
Roy D. Spooner (General Manager)