Caring cabbies get their awards
Kwong Nim-yan, 52, does not regard taxi driving as a mere job. 'We need to have good hearts,' he says. Along with nine other cabbies whose services were recognised by their passengers, Kwong was recognised as a Quality Taxi Driver by the Taxi Services Steering Committee and Transport Department yesterday.
The award is based on nominations from passengers, the past driving records of cabbies, general conduct, training record and overall passenger satisfaction.
A passenger nominated Kwong for suggesting alternative routes to avoid congestion. Kwong says he always checks which routes are congested when he takes passengers from one place to another, so that they can arrive at their destinations in the shortest time.
'I explain which route is faster and tell them how much more they will have to pay if I drive on a longer but less congested route,' he says.
He has been a cabbie for more than 20 years and this is the seventh time he has won an award. When he drops women off at night, he says, he always waits until they have entered the building before driving off.
'We need to take care of one another in the city,' he says. Ming Wah-loi, 62 and a cabbie for 40 years, won a quality driver award because he noticed a wallet was left on the back seat of his taxi. He gave it to the owner. There was no money in the wallet, but it did contain some identity cards and receipts.
'The owner appreciated it very much as her home return permit was in it and she needed to go to the mainland for work that day,' he said.
Law Koon-kau, who has been a taxi driver for 10 years, took a foreigner from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central a year ago. He was nominated for his good service and effective communication in English.
About 300 cabbies were named Merit Taxi Drivers for returning lost items to owners through a lost-and-found radio programme.
The award has been organised every year since 2001 and 88 drivers have been named Quality Taxi Drivers so far.