Sunday 11 December 2011

One Limousine Ride in London

There are many things that you can write about London. Maybe to most Malaysians, Oxford Street would be the most familiar landmark as there is where the shopping spot is located. Rather than discussing about London landmarks, I would like to share the experience talking to a limousine driver in London.

I arrived around 5.30 in the morning at Heathrow and my limousine driver was already waiting when I exited the arrival hall. It was a right timing, just ahead of the normal morning jam that Londoners have to ensure daily.

My pick up was the first trip for my driver who drives a diesel Mercedes Benz. He is from the largest operator of limousine in London. Interestingly, the company invests significantly in technology in ensuring its services are ahead of the rest.

For example, it's IT system would allocate jobs to drivers based on their proximity to passengers taking into consideration how long they have been on the queue. This enables a fair distribution of work among the drivers. While the driver related that he has to work hard and has limited time for holidays, he seems satisfied with the income he earns. The company has also launched an iPhone apps which enable passengers to book a limo using the apps and will be picked up within 15 minutes. Payment is also made through the apps.

The Benz which I took uses eco-friendly diesel and the engine stops whenever the car stops at traffic light. This reduces fuel consumption, hence reduces carbon emission. Owners of this eco-friendly car are given incentives by the government. What struck me was how much the driver understands the need to reduce carbon emission and how this will save the world.

It was an interesting short journey and I learned a fair bit about taxi services in London. If this is the baseline expectation to ensure visitors are excited about their first encounter with front line service providers, I was certainly impressed.

By the way, my hotel was located very close to Oxford Street.

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