Orange Taxi Using Gas Savings to Recruit Drivers
Four-dollar-per-gallon gasoline has become an accepted reality in the Washington DC metro area. While $4-a-gallon gas is expensive for everyone, for taxi drivers it is exceptionally painful.
Nearly all taxi drivers are contractors—thus, they are de facto small-business owners. Gasoline represents a substantial portion of their everyday expenses. As gas prices increase, each increase cuts directly into drivers’ take-home earnings. Orange Taxi estimates drivers using their vehicles will achieve 30 to 40% in fuel savings—which translates into more money in their pocket at the end of the day.
“The typical taxi is a gas guzzler such as a Mercury Marquis or Ford Crown Victoria,” says Robert Alexander, CEO of Orange Taxi and owner of RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation. “Orange Taxi will be aggressively recruiting drivers from other companies who have been impacted by the high cost of driving these gas guzzlers.”
Orange Taxi began operating less than one year ago and currently has a fleet of 14 company-owned late-model Toyota Priuses and Scions. The company plans to purchase more. Orange is the only taxi company in Montgomery County, Md. offering taxi drivers fuel-efficient alternatives in nearly 100 percent of its vehicles.
“Driving a fuel-efficient and hybrid taxis is the way the whole industry is moving today,” Alexander says. “Fuel prices are going in one direction—up. That means drivers have to look at ways to keep their costs down. Why would taxi drivers—who keep track of each dollar—want to drive anything else?”