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Hampton Roads Transportation, Inc. (“HRTI”) was formed December 5, 1984 and provides state-of-the-art dispatch service 24 hours a day, 365 days per year servicing all points in Hampton Roads. HRTI provides all of the accounting, administration, maintenance, and dispatch services for Black and White Cabs of Norfolk, Black and White Cabs of Virginia Beach, Norview Cars, Inc. t/a Norfolk Checker Taxi and Yellow Cab of Norfolk, Yellow Cab of Hampton, and Yellow Cab of Newport News. Collectively these companies own 286 taxicabs operated by approximately 500 licensed, independent lessee drivers.
As is customary in the industry, the taxicabs are operated by qualified and licensed drivers who are independent lessees and not employees of HRTI or the cab companies. These drivers lease the vehicles from the cab companies to provide service to the people of the Hampton Roads area. Each driver is issued a taxicab permit from the police department. Each driver must submit a current DMV report along with his or her application for this permit. The City conducts a background check on each applicant prior to issuing the permit. Additionally, the cab company collects and reviews each driver’s DMV report every six months per insurance requirements. For any driver who does not meet the insurance requirements, the company chooses to no longer do business with that driver. Each driver also takes a defensive driving course, which follows the guidelines of the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course, every two years.
Our accounting department maintains accounts for each of the cab companies. They produce monthly invoices and statements and maintain accounts of varying sizes, from accounts with minimal usage to accounts that have billed over $17,000 a week. The cab companies currently have accounts with about 165 businesses, hospitals, government agencies, universities and military concerns.
The Dispatch Office is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Many of the Dispatchers have over 20 years experience in the taxicab business. Some started their career as a taxicab driver before becoming a dispatcher. A lead dispatch assistant works very closely with the dispatcher. This “lead” person handles customer complaints, “no loads,” assists with questions from phone operators and drivers. The dispatch office usually has three to seven phone operators per shift. They have answered as many as 8,200 calls a day. On the average, over 18,000 trips per week.
The telephone system maintains a log of each call either that comes into or is made from the dispatch office. Each call is recorded which allows management to review staff performance as well as assist in resolving an issue. The telephone system also provides caller-ID service. This allows the Phone Operator to know where the person is calling from, if they have previously called for service.
Also, as of December, 2013 the dispatching has come to the Internet, as customers can now use the Web-Booker feature to order cabs online. Other options include: scheduling future pickups; designating favorite pickup locations for later use; requesting specific vehicle types; rating the driver and calculating an estimate for a hypothetical ride. Registration for Web-Booker also pre-registers the user for the Smartphone app, App-a-Cab coming out in January 2014. More information about both can be found at www.app-a-cab.us
All taxicabs undergo a preventative maintenance check every 3,000-4,000 miles. All of the taxicabs are General Motors products. The standardization of the fleet provides uniformity of parts. The mechanics are all long-term HRTI employees. Collectively, they have over 75 years of experience. One mechanic has been with the company for over 30 years. All mechanical and electrical systems are maintained in proper working condition including but not limited to air conditioning and heating systems, communications equipment, lighting and upholstery. Vehicles dispatched by HRTI travel close to 1.2 million miles per month.
We use a fully-computerized modern dispatch system, which includes Mobile Data Terminals (MDT’s) and Global Positioning System antennae (GPS) in each taxicab. The Phone Operators enter the information into their computer and the dispatch system immediately begins to look for an available taxicab through a GPS system. Once a taxicab is located, the information is transmitted digitally only to the dispatched taxicab and includes the passenger’s name, the pickup address, the destination, the time required, and any additional comments that may exist. The computer dispatch system benefits the public through its increase speed of getting the orders to the taxicabs.
There are two channel radios in each taxicab. There is a voice channel and a data channel. The voice channel allows the driver to speak directly to the Dispatcher if he or she has a question or needs assistance. The data channel continues to simultaneously dispatch requests for taxi service when a driver is on the voice channel.
Each taxicab also has cameras installed. The cameras store photos of everyone getting in or out of the cab. Additionally, each vehicle is equipped with a panic button. If it is pushed, it alerts the Dispatcher that the driver is in need of the police. The Dispatcher is able to find the driver’s location through the GPS antennae and send the police to the driver’s location. Some of the vehicles are equipped with video cameras. These cameras store 20 seconds of video inside and outside of the vehicle every time a certain G force is obtained or the panic button is pressed.
Each vehicle is equipped with a credit card processing device. This system allows the cab driver to obtain approvals and then place the charge using secure digital processing technology.
6304 Sewells Point Road Norfolk, Virginia 23513
Office: (757) 853-1255 Fax: (757) 855-5868
Hampton Roads Transportation, Inc.|