New Moncton cabbies could be tested on knowledge of city

Moncton's taxi committee is considering a proposal that would see cabbies who are new to the city tested on their knowledge of landmarks and trained in customer service.

Taxi committee considering program that would also look at language skills, customer service

The chair of Moncton's taxi committee has proposed a program that would train and test new taxi drivers on their knowledge of the city, languages and customer service.

Gregory Estabooks contends such a program is needed for the growing number of cabbies who are new to the city.

"I'm getting a lot of complaints from my customers that, 'I got into the taxi and told him where I wanted to go and he had no idea where to go, he didn't even have any idea of what direction to go in to reach their destination,'" he said.

"And the other problem is sometimes there's a language barrier there. Because even for some of the new Canadians whose primary language is French, it is not the French spoken around in Moncton."

Estabrooks says the proposed project is still in the early stages and he's not sure when or if it will get approval.

But he says he has a lot of support from the city's cabbies.

Roger Alain, who has been driving a taxi in Moncton for nine years, is among them.

"Money-wise, not knowing the route, can't communicate with them. A lot of these new fellas have no idea at all where the city streets are," said Alain.

"And every day, every day, every day there's people that get into my car to complain about them. Every day," he said.