Jaxicab's Appraisal of the Prius as a taxi

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by JacksonC, May 14, 2011.

  1. JacksonC

    JacksonC New Member

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    Hi forum!

    I just posted this to my blog, what do you think?

     
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  2. jhinsc

    jhinsc Senior Member

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    I like.:rockon:
     
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  3. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

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    I wonder if you can put a hitch-mounted rack that can double as a luggage carrier. Some of the ones I've seen can fold up when not in use.
     
  4. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Glad you posted this - I was going to drop you a mail to see how you were finding the Prius.

    It just has to save you money. The Prius has amazing fuel consumption over here even compared to the many economical, similar sized diesels.

    Great eh? I get asked how I manage to run a brand new car as a taxi; simple, I couldn't! The only way I can run a new Prius is that it virtually pays for itself (almost but not quite) in savings.

    One other question - what's the reaction of your fellow cabbies? Do they like the Prius or do they poke fun? Are they tempted to replace with a Prius or do they not believe the mpg's you get? 18months after I got my Prius I'm still the only one in the area - the other drivers just don't believe the fuel economy I get! I've shown them the figures, even taken photo's of the trip average but they still just don't seem to believe it! But I do like putting half the amount of petrol in my tank for the same earnings (and that's what it's all about) ;)
     
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  5. Jim Clark

    Jim Clark Member

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    With current gas prices, I would think MANY more cabbies would be switching to the Prius. The savings for GrumpyCabbie are a lot greater with UK gas prices. Very few around here so far. For a relatively small car (but classified a midsize) it has a good amount of interior room for people and luggage. From reports by other cabbies, they've had to turn down very few trips due to lack of space.

    How long will it take you to do 300k miles? Some cabs around here are shared by two drivers (sometimes three). They're on the road 20 or more hours a day. Figuring an average of 25 mph, that's nearly 200k miles per year.
     
  6. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Me to do 300k miles? Years and years. I think the car would probably be past its age limit before it gets there. I'm just an owner driver and drive about 10 hours a day and run up about 30-35k miles a year. The car has just hit 18 months and has just short of 47k miles on it, so I'm guess 94k miles in 3 years and 190k in 6 years. I am unlikely to keep the car past 5 years which would be around 155k miles, though I guess it depends how it's holding up (or how much its costing me) at that time.

    I would add I get bored of cars easily and am probably likely to replace the Prius before it gets to 3 years old as it would then be eligible for stricter and more frequent safety checking - not that I doubt it wouldn't pass but that its just more hassle etc. Well, that and the fact that the new Prius Plug In comes out here next year :D
     
  7. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    So, are you passing the savings onto your customers?
     
  8. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    lol, no. By running a Prius I am able to stay in business in these hard times and still run a modern, comfortable and efficient vehicle.

    You're not the first to have asked this though! Must get asked if I provide cheaper fares due to running an efficient car.
     
  9. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    This is the best line in the post. Way past time people started sizing the tool to the job.

    And the line is funny too, looked at from a certain POV ;)
     
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  10. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    man.. ours the same age (18mo) and it has 53k miles on it.. just from driving to work and back daily, 1hr one way.

    It is not uncommon to see a commuter car which accumulates 50K miles annually.
     
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  11. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Reminds me of one of my favorite toasts...

    "Here's to the USA where 200 years is a long time
    and to the UK where 200 miles is a long distance."
     
  12. JacksonC

    JacksonC New Member

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    What a great quote :D

    Thanks to all for the response!
    You answered a lot of questions for me GrumpyCabbie :)

    I am thinking about getting a bike rack, but will likely pass on the luggage roof rack. So far I've had no trouble with not having enough cargo space, any larger load and we can send a van :)

    I might pass the savings on if we raise the meter rate any more, but right now my savings are paying for the increased investment into the new car.

    Thanks again everyone :)
     
  13. Ryanpl

    Ryanpl Active Member

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    I for one do not think you need to pass your savings along to the customers. You're not reducing the services provided but changed your vehicle.
     
  14. JacksonC

    JacksonC New Member

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    In many ways the customer's experience is even better than before :) I Have no qualms asking market rate for my services.

    GrumpyCabbie, forgot to answer your first question. Being the first owner operator on our fleet, I am getting a whole range of reactions from other drivers. All lease drivers I've talked to want to lease it because it is new and gets such great mileage.

    Many owners think it is a great car and are already considering a Prius or other hybrid models for their next replacement. Other owners sneer and say the car looks funny, another thinks it won't fit him but also refuses to sit in one to see if it is actually too small. Everyone really started paying attention when I was only putting $10 in the tank for a shift, though, some are exhibiting unbridled jealousy. I'm taking it as a good thing, hopefully it will mean more Prius on the fleet :)

    To answer that other question, I forgot who asked... I'm expecting 300,000 miles to take about 3 years. We have two 12 hour shifts a day so the cab shouldn't rest much.
     
  15. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    aren't the rates fixed for all by commission in your jurisdiction? different municipalities have different rules, just asking
     
  16. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

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    Jackson, any plans on getting the upcoming larger Prius v?
     
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  17. JacksonC

    JacksonC New Member

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    I honestly haven't considered it, I needed a car immediately, couldn't wait for another model :) I will certainly research it now in order to recommend it to people who think the gen III Prius is too small.
     
  18. JacksonC

    JacksonC New Member

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    Yes, the city regulates the rates on all registered taxis in Portland :) they just authorized a $.20 a mile hike to compensate for fuel cost increases. Once the cab has been paid for, I might take that extra off. I can charge less if I want, but not more :)
     
  19. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    $.20/mi? Do most cab drivers run Hummers?
     
  20. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I wonder if you only increased half of that allowed amount, and advertised it as such if you would get increased business as part of that. Given that you drive the Prius, you have a little flexibility compared to the guys driving non efficient vehicles. Not sure how you would do it in terms of advertising. Maybe special business cards that give 10 cents/mile discount?

    I don't know the taxi environment where you are at, but might be worth a thought. Granted, 10 cents/mile isn't a whole lot if you're not going far but from a customer standpoint any savings is savings, especially if you don't have to do anything for it.
     
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