We committed to support the Knowledge so we’re excited to give you future details on our scheme in this edition. This month we’re also keeping you up to date with driver survey results, the latest cabbie talent and as usual we will be focussing on the positive impact that drivers have on London and in particular, the ‘less able’ community.
Knowledge Scheme Launch
We’re excited to announce that our Knowledge Scheme for drivers who have just passed out has now launched. Hailo was founded by drivers who instilled in the company the commitment and effort needed to complete the Knowledge successfully. We want to congratulate new drivers on this immense achievement by offering one month free commission with Hailo as well as a Hailo driver starter pack with a few goodies to get going.
If you’ve passed out within the last month, then you’re eligible for the scheme. Our Driver Partners are on standby at 51 Great Suffolk Street to get you signed up and hand out your free Knowledge pack.
Find out more about the scheme here.
You can also sign up remotely by filling in this online form.
So spread the word, it’s happening.
Sly Foxes Steal Premiership Glory
Back in February we asked our Football Friday entrants who they thought would come out on top in the end. We’ve tallied up the guesses and it seems that the majority of drivers sensed the foxes had it in them:
Make sure you’re not one of the 23 people who bet on City at the beginning of season at 5000/1 odds and haven’t collected your winnings yet – Check your pockets people! We also did a bit of a back-track on Google and the odds on City to win were still pretty solid at 33/1 in January and 5/1 in February so we hope that a few of you managed to cash in.
So what was more likely to happen than Leicester winning the Premiership?
- Piers Morgan becoming Arsenal manager 2500/1
- David Cameron replacing Tim Sherwood as Aston Villa manager 2500/1
- Elvis Presley turning up alive 2000/1
- David Beckham becoming Man City manager 750/1
Ice Cream Cabbie
Following last week’s interview with Aiden Kent the singing cabbie, we’ve been checking out some other Hailo talent. After 9 years at Tottenham Hotspur FC, Tom Pepper was 17 and out on an injury when Micky Hazard advised him to think about getting the Knowledge under his belt. Having now been a cabbie for 6 & half years, Tom’s day-to-day driving is definitely not the norm. Since hanging up his boots for good 8 months ago, Tom transformed Freddie the cab into the world’s first Ice Cream Cab, serving traditional English ice cream.
As a treat for the Hailo Team, Tom came down to Somerset House earlier this month (when London was pretending to be in summer) and office saw the Ice Cream Cab in action. Watch this space when real summer hits…
When Tom’s not turning heads scooping ice cream with Freddie, he’s playing off 3 on the golf course!
Fancy a feature in the next edition of Black to Black? Contact us about it here.
Cabbie of the Month – Gary Palmer
Back in December, Gary raced an expectant mother to the hospital just in time. She recently contacted us to let us know that if it weren’t for his fast but safe driving, her baby boy Arthur may not have survived. He wouldn’t take a penny for the cleaning of his cab and checked up on the family the next day to keep in touch – What a man!
How long have you been a cabbie?
Why did you become a cabbie?
I was made redundant from my job as a sales rep and, with two small children and another on the way, thought it my best option.
Favourite short cut?
Legal or illegal 😉 ?? All my favourite ‘legal’ ones seem to have been gradually closed off!!
Worst part of town for traffic?
Currently the Aldgate area
The cab radio is broken. What music band do you put on?
No one specific, just whatever I fancy that’s on my phone. Anything from punk through to Sinatra and classical.
Funniest story from your time as a cabbie?
A guy who closely resembled ‘Uncle Fester’ from ‘The Adam’s Family’ and to put it politely was a little ‘eccentric’ got into my cab in the city and requested a very specific route to somewhere just north of the Old Street Roundabout. He especially panicked when a double decker bus pulled in behind it every time it pulled into a bus stop. Eventually the bus turned off and I was ‘allowed’ to proceed. Then a large red van pulled out in front of me and I understandably thought to ask him whether I could overtake it. In the calmest manner he’d shown throughout the journey, he looked at me as if I was completely mad and said, “Yes of course, why ever not?”!!!
What did you do before completing the Knowledge?
Office work and sales (shipping)
Outside the cab, what is your hobbie?
Football, gym, socialising
Outside the cab, anything you want to plug?
Nothing that immediately springs to mind…it’s so hard to be humble, eh??
Meet the Team
Systems Administrator (IT bloke)
How long have you worked for Hailo?
What is your favourite thing about working for Hailo?
What is your least favourite thing about working for Hailo?
Being on call all the time (because I’m the IT bloke)
If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive) which three people would you choose?
Socrates, Freddie Mercury, Rick Ruben
Give us an interesting fact that no one at work knows about?
I tend to be quite forthcoming not sure I’ve kept any secrets…or have I?
Hobbies, sports, pastimes?
Golf, cars and motorbikes
Favourite place in London?
Any of the many pubs
You’re on a desert island for a year. What one movie would you take?
Inception or the Matrix series. Even after watching it for a year, I don’t think I would fully understand either.
Still on the island…What one meal would you eat?
I don’t think it matters, I’m going to get sick of it real fast.
And finally, still on the island, what one luxury item would you take with you?
I’m assuming a laptop with internet access isn’t possible so I’ll take my acoustic guitar.
Travelling in Style, Blue Badge Style
Earlier in the month, we sponsored a Blue Badge Style (BBS) MIX concert, which supports a bursary that BBS fund for Musicians with Disabilities at the Royal Academy of Music.
For those who haven’t heard of BBS before, it aims to re-define disability with style and what better way to do this than arrive at a restaurant in a black cab! BBS is a Michelin/Vogue like Style Guide for ‘less abled’ people which rates and recommends places based on their style, accessibility and disabled facilities via the website and app. Fiona Jarvis, the founder of BBS spared a few minutes of her busy schedule to answer a few of our questions about transport in London.
Have you found that black cabs being wheelchair accessible has made a difference to the ease with which you get around?
For sure and long may they continue as it’s really the only way I can conduct business or have a social life. They’re a godsend.
What has your experience with other taxi providers been like?
Before I used a wheelchair I would use a minicab but the drivers were never as knowledgeable as a black cab driver – even in the suburbs where I live. I would use them when I couldn’t hail a cab outside my front door. It was very hit and miss getting black cabs in Brentford. All that’s changed with an App like Hailo.
Do you think that London’s public transport in general is up to scratch in terms of accessibility?
Absolutely not. I can spend hours finding an accessible route on the TfL site when I need to go to a meeting. If I used public transport I couldn’t be spontaneous on a night out. Neither could I be sure of arriving at a meeting on time. If I used public transport it could take me over 2 hours to get from Brentford to the City as my local train station is nowhere near accessible and I’d need to get a cab anyway to an accessible station.
If TfL said you could change one thing about London public transport, what would be that first priority for you?
Make my local station accessible. They should also look at improving black cab design especially the ramps and sitting position i.e. not facing backwards.
Have taxi apps like Hailo made your life any easier?
Yes I no longer have to wait on the street being ignored by some cabbies! I can also get a cab outside my front door when I need it. Prebook is also a great addition to Hailo.
Visit the Blue Badge Style website
Ypres a Success
You may remember our interview with Frances Wyhowska of the Taxi Charity last month. Hailo sponsored a cab carrying veterans on a very successful trip to and from Ypres. It’s great to see so many trade operators supporting such an important cause and also always good to see Hailo leading the pack 😉
The Charity are always looking for drivers to take part in these rewarding events and also take donations through their website. We will be sponsoring their next trip too so keep your eyes peeled on their events pages on the website.
Have Your Say
In other news…Congestion in London is a hot topic at the moment. You guys are out on the front line everyday so who better to ask about it? We gave Hailo drivers a selection of traffic trouble-makers and asked them to choose which three factors were the largest contributors to London’s traffic problems:
The results show a clear top three of mini cabs, Cycle Superhighways and roadworks. We had omitted ‘Buses’ from the options but there were several mentions of them in the ‘other’ option. It just goes to show that you guys know the roads better than anyone!
With Boris suggesting that Sadiq may have to increase the congestion charge in order to combat growing traffic gridlock, do you think that’s the answer? The Evening Standard also recently reported on an Uber-commissioned survey, which claimed that the main source of London congestion was delivery vehicles as a result of more e-commerce. It’s clear that from a driver’s perspective, this isn’t what it looks like out on the streets.
With that we will leave you with thoughts of summer and something to fill your email signatures with…