Currently a taxi driver - would this be considered a decent background for a trainee driver?

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The_Colonel

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I'm going to apply for a trainee driver position with EMR. Just wondering if anyone else has come from this background to eventually become a train driver?

Taxi driver is considered a low skilled job in most people's minds, however its a job that involves transporting people safely from A to B, ability to work alone and concentrate for long hours (driving to or from a long distance drop off) a good knowledge of routes, ensuring the vehicle is maintained and serviced in good safe working order, knowledge of taxi legislation, highway code etc.

Has anyone come from being a taxi driver? Would the interviewers consider it a good starting point?
 
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DriverEight

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Shift work and customer service would possibly work on your favour, but an addiction to magic tree air fresheners certainly won't! There's a thread on here called previous careers, and it was obvious that train drivers came from all age groups and all walks of life
 

tiptoptaff

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Although it may not affect you, the poor experiences many drivers, guards, mangers and TOCs in general have with taxi firms and specifically taxi drivers and their attitude towards the requirements especially during Covid, but even before then, may not go in your favour.
 

Atishyou

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Most taxis I've ever been in at work, the drivers thought it was 'an easy job' they could 'do in their sleep'.

It wasn't until I pointed out to some of them that we have to stop the right side of reds and can't just ignore warning lights that they suddenly go very quiet.

Many of the taxi drivers we got were very much 'know-it-alls' though.

Go for it, good luck.
 

Stigy

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It’s as good a background as any and will help for examples come the Multi-Modal Interview (MMI).

Things such as the ability to concentrate for long periods of time and ability to learn a lot of information in a limited timeframe will all help (if you were a London Cab driver and had to do the Knowledge, you’d have them eating out of your hand :D).
 

tiptoptaff

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Most taxis I've ever been in at work, the drivers thought it was 'an easy job' they could 'do in their sleep'.

It wasn't until I pointed out to some of them that we have to stop the right side of reds and can't just ignore warning lights that they suddenly go very quiet.

Many of the taxi drivers we got were very much 'know-it-alls' though.

Go for it, good luck.
This.

Add to that some poor driving practices, tendancy to turn up late to jobs and the lack of covid-secure hygiene, it's not a good picture from our side of taxi drivers at the moment.
 

Skie

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I live in a cul-de-sac with a T at the top, and there is a knack to turning around by making use of the top of the T to do a 3 point turn. Most people get this right as it's fairly simple, but 99% of Taxi drivers somehow get themselves jammed in the neck trying to turn around just before the T, almost as if they only know how to drive forward and once reversing comes into the mix.

But you wont have to do that as a driver, so you're good. :)
 

The_Colonel

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Although it may not affect you, the poor experiences many drivers, guards, mangers and TOCs in general have with taxi firms and specifically taxi drivers and their attitude towards the requirements especially during Covid, but even before then, may not go in your favour.

There's definitely some arsey taxi drivers about, also decent ones too - just like in any walk of life. Out of interest which requirements in particular was a bad attitude shown towards?
 

tiptoptaff

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There's definitely some arsey taxi drivers about, also decent ones too - just like in any walk of life. Out of interest which requirements in particular was a bad attitude shown towards?
The washing of hands, the provision of hand sanitizer, the provision of screens between the front and back, the wearing of masks...m

The requirement to pay attention to the road, the requirement not to use their phones while driving, the requirement not to drive dangerously (including u-turns on motorway slip roads)
 

Stigy

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The washing of hands, the provision of hand sanitizer, the provision of screens between the front and back, the wearing of masks...m

The requirement to pay attention to the road, the requirement not to use their phones while driving, the requirement not to drive dangerously (including u-turns on motorway slip roads)
To be fair, it’s not that common now, unless some of your taxi drivers where you’re from are akin to some of your train drivers of course? ;)

I’ve had one lunatic taxi driver, the rest are “reasonable”. If anybody turns around on a motorway slip, I’d like to think that driver would no longer have any railway work?
 

tiptoptaff

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To be fair, it’s not that common now, unless some of your taxi drivers where you’re from are akin to some of your train drivers of course? ;)

I’ve had one lunatic taxi driver, the rest are “reasonable”. If anybody turns around on a motorway slip, I’d like to think that driver would no longer have any railway work?
Battling Cabfind or CMAC or whatever they're called was half my job in control.
 

dctraindriver

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In relation to your question, there’s a couple of ex cabbies driving trains where I am so go for it.

As for the cabbies ferrying me about I’ll be honest the majority have been helpful, turned up when meant to and conveyed me safely. At present the cabs are people carriers, have screens and sanitised after each passenger. Once I wasn’t happy with a driver I told him so and I reported it, but this is going off subject.
 

The_Colonel

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This.

Add to that some poor driving practices, tendancy to turn up late to jobs and the lack of covid-secure hygiene, it's not a good picture from our side of taxi drivers at the moment.
Poor driving annoys me a fair bit, it's not difficult to use indicators, not sit on the foot brake at traffic lights etc etc.

Regarding turning up late - often that will be down to the operators dispatching a job late, or even in some cases on the completely wrong day! As soon as I receive a job I'll make my way to the destination as quickly as possible - as its in my interest being self employed to get there ASAP (driving in a safe legal manner of course) get customer to point B and on to the next job.

On to covid I personally wear a facemask, will only take customers with a face covering. I Spray dettol surface antibacterial disinfectant on to the upholstery, handles, seat belts, buckles, door cards ETC between customers. Also I provide antibacterial CIF wipes and alcogel for customers use.

I'd like to say all taxi drivers have decent standards but I've seen some right disgusting smelly cars with bald tyres on the road - if the licencing authority catches them they'll be off the road straight away.

I'd say you should complain to the licensing authority and get these rogues off the road. Paying customer should at least expect a safe, clean vehicle with a competent driver at these times.

The jobs hard enough these days without bad drivers creating a bad reputation for the decent drivers who take pride in their vehicle and the service they provide.
 

ComUtoR

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We got a few Cabbies no issues with any of them. We had one who quit part way through practical handling not through aptitude (he was pretty spot on tbh) and not through any kind of attitude. Sometimes people just don't like the job. He went back to cabbing.

Go for it.
 
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