Taxi Licensing Qualifications

By Angela McCarthy

The course

PassRite offers all the courses required to become a taxi driver, along with other classes of transport licence.

Drivers have to pass 11 two-hour papers. Every Wednesday PassRite runs the P Endorsement course, which is based on unit standards and requires a 100 per cent pass.

The P Endorsement is one of the requirements for becoming a taxi driver and covers practice and theory.

Drivers must reach an 80 per cent pass rate for the knowledge of law and practice test and all the area knowledge tests considered applicable by the company for which they intend to work.

Although some companies want only two area knowledge tests done, others - Corporate Cabs, for example - expect drivers to know all six Auckland areas.

PassRite provides handouts and drivers must memorise routes and maps of greater Auckland.

This includes accurate knowledge of pick-up and drop-off locations, buildings, main roads and one-way streets.

They must also be able to use maps accurately. Trainers provide extra support if required.

Four to six people study at any one time. A sound knowledge of English is essential.

Prerequisites for enrolling in any of the tests are a medical clearance, police clearance and a clean and up-to-date car licence.

The cost is about $1800, including costs for all licences.

PassRite's training package for Corporate Cabs drivers includes the tests, administration, and the wording of the advertisement drivers are required to run twice in the newspaper indicating their intention to become a taxi driver.

What graduates think

William Butler
60
Taxi owner-driver for Corporate Cabs
Gained licences in October 2004

I've been working as an owner-driver with Corporate Cabs for 22 weeks. It's a great job that combines my interest in people and love of driving.

I decided to take on a Corporate Cab when I was made redundant last June after 20 years in sales and marketing.

There is quite a bit involved in gaining a taxi licence with Corporate Cabs. PassRite provides the training for all of it, including the six area knowledge tests.

It took me six to seven weeks to complete the training.

When I wasn't at PassRite I was at home studying for six days each week from 8am to 10pm, focusing on the area knowledge by using the Wise's map on the internet and then getting my wife to test me.

We have to be able to describe pick-up and drop-off points as well as routes, so it is quite daunting initially.

In my previous job I travelled regularly around Auckland but hadn't paid much attention to street names.

The area knowledge was hard work but I am now very confident on the roads and I'm glad Corporate Cabs expects us to know all metropolitan Auckland. I find people very appreciative because I take a direct route.

What the franchise thinks

Karen Mercer
Corporate Cabs sales and marketing manager

We have 230 owner-drivers in Auckland and they had to meet our standards before taking on a Corporate Cab.

We are looking for people with strong customer service skills who are intuitive, personable and deferential, with strong business ethics.

They must also have a good command of the English language.

Corporate Cab drivers must get their P Endorsement licence which permits them to take paying passengers.

As owner-operators they also need a transport or passenger service licence. PassRite covers all these requirements.

Because we work from Rodney to Pukekohe, we also require drivers to pass all six Auckland area knowledge certificates.

Once owner-drivers have passed their qualifications at PassRite we put them through a four-day induction programme.

That includes use of GPS systems and other technology involved in the taxi business, major client spots, dedicated airport areas and practice at receiving jobs.

We feel comfortable that the other requirements have been covered by PassRite.

PassRite Driving Academy Ltd
09 636 0111

www.passrite.co.nz
admin@passrite.co.nz

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