Denver International Airport - Taxi Service Research Survey October 2008 - Prepared for DIA by

 
Denver International Airport - Taxi Service Research Survey October 2008 - Prepared for DIA by
Denver International Airport
                                    Taxi Service Research Survey
                                            October 2008

Prepared for DIA by:

www.BurstMarketing.com
Attn: Rob Simon (rob@burstmarketing.com)

                www.KeosMarketing.com
                Attn: Keo Frazier (keof@keosmarketing.com)
Denver International Airport - Taxi Service Research Survey October 2008 - Prepared for DIA by
Table of Contents
                                                     Slide

Voice of the Traveler                                 3
Introduction                                          4
Methodology                                           5
Key Findings and Recommendations                      6
Detailed Data Charts                                  10
Verbatim Comments                                     21
Appendix                                              27

                        2008 Taxi Service Research           2
Denver International Airport - Taxi Service Research Survey October 2008 - Prepared for DIA by
Voice of the Traveler
                                              (selected verbatim quotes representative of the sample)

Would like to have more Americans who speak English.
                                               Denver cabs are outdated and old.
             It was a pleasant experience.
                                                                                                                                          Very pleased!
                                   Driver spoke poor English, but was better than most.
      Very expensive. 15 minute ride was $45.
                                                 Need better equipment and more environmentally friendly cars.
           I always use the same driver, and he's almost like a friend.
                                                                                                                   DIA is the best.
Went around traffic jam to get me here faster - good job.

      The guy was nice. I took his card and I'm going to call him again every time I come to Denver.

                                Very good.
                                                                                           Communication problems - foreign. Language Barrier.
Was a very good experience for a taxi. NY is awful and charges people differently.
                                                                          Taxis could be newer, more modern.
                            Too expensive to get to the airport.
                                                           Used turn signals more than I ever have!
      Did not like music in taxi.
                                                                Would have been nice to know that there was a fixed rate to my hotel.
             Condition and cleanliness of the cab was an issue.

More expensive than anticipated.
                                                                                           The taxi did not have a credit card machine.

                                                         2008 Taxi Service Research                                                                       3
Denver International Airport - Taxi Service Research Survey October 2008 - Prepared for DIA by
Introduction
•   The rationale for administering this survey came from two sources:
      1) Taxi services received negative feedback in the Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 versions
          of the DIA Ground Transportation Survey. However, this negative feedback was
          based on a very small sample size ‐ 4 responses in 2007 and 10 responses in 2008.
          Because these response sets were not large enough to create a qualified sample,
          the Denver International Airport (DIA) commissioned this report in part to
          determine whether or not the previous negative attitudes towards taxis were
          indicative of true market perception or whether the negative feedback was simply
          an anomaly.
      2) Taxi services received negative feedback in the public, media and anecdotally
          during the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.
•   In order to gain more insight into perceptions of these taxi services, Denver International
    Airport enlisted the help of BurstMarketing and Keos Marketing Group to conduct a
    research survey. This survey differed from past Ground Transportation research in that it
    consisted of questions solely regarding the customer experience with taxi services.

                                      2008 Taxi Service Research                                  4
Denver International Airport - Taxi Service Research Survey October 2008 - Prepared for DIA by
Methodology
•   We used an intercept approach, which is an in person one‐on‐one interview with travelers, to
    collect surveys to ensure we contacted people in the midst of their travel experience.
    Intercepts also enabled our interviewers to walk with the respondent while they answered
    questions to minimize inconvenience while also getting more honest and thoughtful
    comments. Additionally, the intercept approach allowed us to gather a more representative
    and fair sample and screen for certain conditions to ensure the validity of the data.
•   A new survey was written, and designed to take less than five minutes and included 22
    questions. Two questions were demographic in nature and one was an open‐ended question
    meant to solicit additional free‐form feedback from passengers. The purpose of the survey
    was to assess feelings, attitudes and experiences with and about the Taxi Services at DIA. The
    survey was also designed to correlate in part with past Ground Transportation research
    surveys so that there could be continuity in both the research and the findings. This also
    enabled us to create a specific “Quality of Services Report Card” for taxi services comparable
    to previous and more general Ground Transportation Report Cards.
•   The data was collected over three days in the Fall of 2008: October 2nd, October 3rd, and
    October 5th. All survey responses were collected on Level 5 and Level 6, the ground
    transportation level and passenger ticketing level. Travelers were screened to include only
    people who had used a taxi for their airport travels. Customers who completed the survey
    were offered a one‐day free parking pass at DIA.
•   364 survey responses were collected in total, and the data following is shown with a 95%
    confidence level and a 5% confidence interval.
                                     2008 Taxi Service Research                                5
Denver International Airport - Taxi Service Research Survey October 2008 - Prepared for DIA by
Key Findings and Recommendations

            2008 Taxi Service Research   6
Denver International Airport - Taxi Service Research Survey October 2008 - Prepared for DIA by
Key Findings and Recommendations
•    Customer satisfaction ratings are commonly used to reflect overall client satisfaction. In this
     DIA taxi services survey, satisfaction has been assessed both as an overall experience as well
     as an individual experience with specific attributes of the taxi service itself. The following
     table references taxi service scores from both this wave of research as well as the past two
     waves of the DIA Ground Transportation Department research.

                                                              Quality of Services Report Card
              Grading Scale                                                                                  Fall             Spring     Fall
       (For “Excellent” to “Good”                            Taxi Service Attribute
               Responses)
                                                                                                            2007               2008     2008
                                                                                                              (n=4)*          (n=10)*   (n=364)

    A = Excellent                89% – 100%              Being Courteous or Polite                             D                C        A‐
    B = Good                     76% – 88%
    C = Average                  55% – 75%
                                                         Promptness or Speed                                  C+                C‐       B+
    D = Fair                     40% – 54%               Professionalism                                       D               D‐        B+
    F = Poor                     0% – 39%
                                                         Being Helpful                                         D               D+         B
     Numeric ratings are derived from a 1 to 5 Likert
     scale, with 5 being excellent and 1 being poor.
    “Excellent” and “good” responses were summed
                                                         Being Fair to Everyone                                 F              D‐        B+
        to create combined percentages for the
             alphabetic grading scale above.             Verbal Communication                                  D                D        B‐
                                                        * Extremely small sample sizes: Projected grades may be misleading.

                                                             2008 Taxi Service Research                                                           7
Denver International Airport - Taxi Service Research Survey October 2008 - Prepared for DIA by
Key Findings and Recommendations
•   Overall, passengers at Denver International Airport are very satisfied with the taxi services
    they have experienced. Eighty‐five percent of passengers surveyed rated their taxi experience
    as either “Excellent” or “Good” – which are both above‐average ratings.
•   Specifically, travelers at DIA are very satisfied with the promptness, professionalism,
    courteousness and speed of the service, and are pleased with the cleanliness and quality of
    the taxi vehicles.
      Recommendation: Share this information with taxi service providers as a way of
          encouraging them to maintain the good service.
•   The most commonly mentioned negative feedback during this round of interviews was about
    taxi fares. Passengers seem to be confused about the flat fares to and from DIA, and this
    confusion is compounded by the fact that drivers do not seem to be consistent when they
    charge a flat fee versus when they charge a metered rate.
      Recommendation: Perhaps DIA can post signs or distribute flyers to passengers at taxi
          distribution stands about fare policies; information could be added about fare policies to
          DIA web site and brochures. In addition, if there are indeed different fare schedules for
          different taxi service providers, is there a way that DIA, the City or the PUC can create
          and enforce a standard?

                                      2008 Taxi Service Research                                  8
Denver International Airport - Taxi Service Research Survey October 2008 - Prepared for DIA by
Recommendations (cont.)
•   Another area of concern from DIA travelers is that taxi drivers were not especially helpful in
    providing information or insight about Denver area attractions and things to do.
      Recommendation: Share this information with taxi service providers and encourage
          them to work with their drivers to improve communication on Denver’s assets. Perhaps
          partner with the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau to provide training for taxi
          drivers, as well as materials (flyers, brochures) that could be distributed inside the
          vehicles. If a passenger has specific questions about City operations, drivers can give the
          passengers the 311 number. Consider developing a “concierge” phone number that
          travelers can call while in a taxi for additional help.
•   Many passengers – especially business travelers from larger urban settings – may not have
    grand expectations for taxi service. Taxis are a convenient way to get from Point A to Point B,
    and are not meant to be luxurious or customer‐service focused. People may not expect for a
    taxi to be spotless or for a taxi driver to help them with their luggage. Consequently, the high
    satisfaction ratings we gained from these questions in this wave of the research may not
    represent the ‘big picture’ of the taxi experience. Questions assessing the importance of these
    factors to passengers are important in future research so they can be cross‐tabulated with
    satisfaction ratings to better understand customer perceptions.
      Recommendation: Since feedback was much more positive when compared to past DIA
          Ground Transportation surveys, we feel that additional research may be needed in order
          to better understand people’s perceptions of the DIA taxi service experience.
                                      2008 Taxi Service Research                                  9
Denver International Airport - Taxi Service Research Survey October 2008 - Prepared for DIA by
Detailed Data Charts

      2008 Taxi Service Research   10
Courteousness
     • Of those who called a taxi for themselves and spoke with a dispatcher, most felt that
       the dispatcher was courteous.
     • 98% of respondents also felt that the taxi drivers were courteous.

   Courteousness of Dispatcher                                                      Courteousness of Taxi Driver

Base: Total Respondents (n=364)
Q3. If you called for a taxi to take you to the airport, was the dispatcher courteous?
Q5. Was the taxi driver courteous?
                                                                2008 Taxi Service Research                     11
Professionalism
    • More than 8 in 10 respondents felt that their taxi driver presented him/herself
      professionally.
    • In addition, more than 8 in 10 respondents also felt that the taxi driver operated the
      vehicle in a professional manner.

    Professionalism of Driver                                                    Professionalism of Operation

Base: Total Respondents (n=364)
Q6. On a scale of 1 to 5, please rate how professionally the driver presented himself/herself, such as in manners, clothing and speech.
Q9. On a scale of 1 to 5, please rate how professionally the driver operated the vehicle, such as following road rules, not engaging in cell phone
use, following the speed limits and low radio/music volume.
                                                             2008 Taxi Service Research                                                              12
Helpfulness
   • Taxi drivers assisted most passengers with their luggage, but not all of them.
   • Taxi drivers do not seem to be extremely informed about the Denver area. Of the people
     that asked questions about the area, over half stated that the taxi driver was not able to
     answer those questions.

        Taxi Driver Assisted With                                               Taxi Driver Was Informed About
                 Luggage                                                                  Denver Area

Base: Total Respondents (n=364)
Q7. Did the taxi driver assist you with your luggage?
Q14. Was the taxi driver informed about the Denver area and able to answer your questions about amenities such as restaurants, landmarks and shopping?

                                                              2008 Taxi Service Research                                                      13
Vehicle Attributes
• The majority of respondents felt that the taxis were clean and that all of the vehicle
  amenities were in working order.

        Cleanliness of Interior                                                         Working Amenities

Base: Total Respondents (n=364)
Q8. Was the interior of the taxi clean such as smell, upholstery and void of trash?
Q10. Were the amenities in the vehicle working, such as air conditioning or use of windows?
                                                          2008 Taxi Service Research                        14
Timing and Familiarity With Location
• Passengers were satisfied with the amount of time it took for the taxi to pick them up after
  they called in a request.
• Most taxi drivers were familiar with the locations requested by passengers.

      Taxi Available in Reasonable                                               Taxi Driver Familiar With
            Amount of Time                                                         Requested Location

Base: Total Respondents (n=364)
Q4. Was your taxi available in a reasonable amount of time?
Q11. Did the taxi driver know the location that you requested?
                                                          2008 Taxi Service Research                         15
Destination Routes
• Of those that knew their way around Denver, most felt that the taxi driver took them the
  most direct route to their destination. In addition, most drivers were able to take alternate
  routes when a situation arose that might have delayed passenger arrival time.

Taxi Driver Took Most Direct                                                         Taxi Driver Able to Take
    Route to Destination                                                                 Alternate Route

Base: Total Respondents (n=364)
Q12. Did the taxi driver take the most direct route to your requested location?
Q13. If you encountered traffic or detours, was the taxi driver able to take you another route?
                                                            2008 Taxi Service Research                          16
Overall Quality of Service
• More than 8 in 10 passengers rated their overall experience as above average.
• Taxi drivers fared well on all attributes, especially on being courteous and polite. The lowest
  driver scores were received on the verbal communication attribute.

Base: Total Respondents (n=364)
Q15. How would you rate your overall experience with the taxi service?
Q16a‐f. How would you rate the overall quality of service provided by the taxi driver on (attribute)?
                                                            2008 Taxi Service Research                  17
Satisfaction
• The DIA taxi service fared well when compared to other airports, with about 60% of
passengers rating DIA better than others.
• Almost 9 in 10 passengers were satisfied with their taxi experience.

Base: Total Respondents (n=364)
Q17. How would you compare DIA’s taxi service to other airports you have used?
Q18. How satisfied are you with your taxi experience?
                                                         2008 Taxi Service Research    18
Demographics

Base: Total Respondents (n=364)
Q19. Are you here for business, leisure or both?
Q20. What is your age range?
                                                   2008 Taxi Service Research   19
Demographics
• The map below represents the zip codes of passengers’ primary residences.
• 9 entries could not be mapped due to invalid or incomplete information.
• Off the map locations indicated by the symbol (
Verbatim Comments

     2008 Taxi Service Research   21
Verbatim Comments
              • Called her directly on cell phone. Used Josef from Yellow Cab. Great guy.
              • Driver gave her a price break for calling him for return trips to the airport. She
                appreciated it.
              • Driver was a cool guy.
              • Driver was a good guy and everything was excellent.
              • Driver was smart and funny. Made sure I had my cell phone, laptop, etc.
              • He was very nice ‐ ride was great.
              • I always call the same driver to come pick me up. Today he was busy but he called his
                friend who came to get me in 10 minutes!
              • I always use the same driver, and he's almost like a friend.
              • I call for the same cab every time, and he does a great job for me. I live downtown and
  Driver        it's the best way for me to get to the airport.
              • Nice that he asked which airline to drop us off at ‐ very efficient.

(Positive)    • Prearranged pick‐up today and appreciated driver calling to confirm and being on time.
              • Takes cabs often. She was by far the best driver he's had. She sent him a text when she
                was 7 minutes away and then again when she was 3 minutes away so he knew exactly
                when she'd arrive.
              • The guy was nice. I took his card and I'm going to call him again every time I come to
                Denver. He had a great life story and was just a really great guy all around.
              • They were pleased that the driver recommended a shopping center, took them there,
                waited while they shopped, then took them on to the airport.
              • Used turn signals more than I ever have!
              • Very pleasant driver.
              • Was pleased that the driver took him to a shop to buy a Barbie doll for his daughter on
                the way to the airport.
              • Went around traffic jam to get me here faster ‐ good job.

                           2008 Taxi Service Research                                                     22
Verbatim Comments
              • Communication problems ‐ foreign. Language Barrier.
              • Did not like music in taxi.
              • Driver spoke poor English, but was better than most.
              • Driver swerved when he was talking on his cell phone.
              • Driver talked on cell phone.
              • Driver talked too much and she just wanted to read her book. Driver was also late and said that their

  Driver       dispatch system wasn't working correctly so it took him extra time to get to her.
              • Driver was a bit surly at times, but overall it was good.

(Negative)
              • Driver wouldn't turn on air conditioning and did not help with luggage.
              • Exceeded speed limit frequently.
              • Hard to hear the driver.
              • The cab driver from the airport did not have good verbal communication at all.
              • The driver made some pretty scary lane changes.
              • Wallet fell out in front seat of cab. Dispatcher called several times ‐ driver didn't answer the page. Had to
               cancel credit cards. Just now got the wallet back.
              • Would like to have more Americans who speak English.

             • Condition and cleanliness of the cab was an issue about 2 weeks ago. Driver had a urine bottle in the front
              seat and the cab reeked of urine and the AC didn't work. It was the purple cab company.

  Vehicle    • Denver cabs are outdated and old.
             • Need better equipment and more environmentally friendly cars.

(Negative)
             • Orange peels on floor in back seat.
             • Taxis could be newer, more modern.
             • The driver on the way from DIA to the city was great, but the cab broke down.
             • Recommends that Denver starts to use Prius.

 Payment     •The taxi did not have a credit card machine.
             •US Cab doesn't take credit cards to the airport, so I called Yellow Cab because they do.

(Negative)   •Using credit card was a problem.

                                    2008 Taxi Service Research                                                                  23
Verbatim Comments
               • $70 charge from the airport a week ago. Driver failed to tell them it was a flat rate.
               • Customer felt overcharged. Was quoted $43 and paid $57.
               • Don't understand the flat fee. The flat fee was charged when I left from the airport, but not going
                back to the airport. Which made it more expensive than the flat fee.
               • Would have been nice to know that there was a fixed rate to my hotel.
               • Was expensive. He can take a limo for a lower price than a taxi. He lives in Littleton and a limo is
                $80 while a taxi is $100.
               • Was charged $49 to get from DIA to the hotel in DTC. On the way back to the airport from the
                hotel, though, was charged $61.75. After telling the driver, he resolved the problem and charged
                them $49.
               • Very expensive. 15 minute ride was $45.
               • Too expensive; charged too much. There was $5 on the meter before the taxi even started
                running.
               • Too expensive to get to the airport.

   Fare
               • Expensive to/from airport/downtown.
               • Thought fare from Loveland was outrageous ‐ $165.
               • The driver was giving different prices on the fare ‐ he told me two different prices. He then told

(Negative)      me to pick a price ‐ it was $46 or $43 and he said that it didn't matter.
               • Really expensive ‐ almost $100.
               • Price was high ‐ he has friends that paid less to come to the airport. He was charged $70 from
                Havana & Hampden, and his friend was charged $50. He thinks it was because of racism.
               • Price variance ‐ cost more to come to the airport from DTC than going from the airport to DTC.
               • Overcharged ‐ didn't respect meter fare.
               • Outraged about cost ‐ $69 with Yellow Cab.
               • On the way down to Denver the cab driver charged them $59, but when they went to use the
                credit card machine the driver panicked and reduced the rate to $45.
               • More expensive than other airports.
               • More expensive than it should have been.
               • More expensive than anticipated.
               • JW Marriott told him that the standard fare was $55. To the hotel, the driver charged $62. From
                the hotel to the airport today the driver charged $52 for the same route. Didn't think the $10
                difference for the exact same trip was fair.
               • Flat fee was high. 4 Blocks cost him $15 more.

                              2008 Taxi Service Research                                                                24
Verbatim Comments
               • All good. Like the privacy.
               • Always travels in and out of DIA since he's military and has never had a bad experience.
               • Appreciated that the taxi driver took credit cards. Noted that NYC cabs rarely accept plastic.
               • Better than NY and DC. Better than Seattle. Same as Oakland. Having an air conditioner was a big plus.
               • Credit card machines, no lines for cabs at the airport, easy to get cabs ‐ not like New Jersey.
               • Enjoyed our ride.
               • Enjoyed the service.
               • Everything was perfect, but I am blind so I may not know if something was off.
               • Excellent job!
               • Excellent!
               • Fast. Likes taking cabs in Denver.
               • Good.

 General
               • Great airport.
               • Great experience compared to Seattle, where she lives.
               • Great experience, cheaper compared to other cities.

Comments       •
               •
                 Great experience.
                 Great overall! Travels 50 weeks out of the year and takes cabs everywhere. Says that Denver's are
                better than NYC and Atlanta where she takes a lot of cabs.
               • Great service.

(Positive)     • Great!
               • I would call them again.
               • It was a pleasant experience.
               • Keep taxis in Denver airport. Shuttles are a pain.
               • Not nearly as bad as Chicago.
               • Service was as expected.
               • She travels frequently and DIA is the best.
               • The cab services in Denver are unusually exceptional, helpful and clean.
               • Took Freedom Cab and it was a very pleasant experience.
               • Very fortunate that it went smoothly.
               • Very friendly.
               • Very good.
               • Very pleased!
               • Was a very good experience for a taxi. NY is awful and charges people differently.

                              2008 Taxi Service Research                                                                  25
Verbatim Comments
              • Called Metro cab but they never came so I took Yellow Cab.
              • Have more cabs waiting.
              • He didn't get my correct address.
              • Late ‐ had to call twice.
              • Need better driving.

 General
              • No headrest in cab. Respondent is a safety engineer for Porsche and mentioned absence of headrest
               as a big safety issue for the driver, who really didn't seem concerned that there weren't any headrests
               in his cab.

Comments
              • No system for taxi drivers to be able to get out of line. Chicago ‐ anywhere in vicinity able to jump
               line. By which to service local area. There needs to be an incentive for taxis to be "green". Crown
               Victoria’s get 9 miles per gallon. NYC fixed this – they are driving Prius’s!
              • No taxi cab companies offer car seats. Called 2 days ahead of schedule and getting a car seat still

(Negative)
               was not possible.
              • Not good service.
              • Standards are way too low in the U.S.!
              • Taxi stand doesn't inform you about fares or give you any information.
              • Took long time for taxi to arrive.
              • Waited 20 minutes then had to call back. Cab came 10 minutes later. Didn't like having to call twice
               and wait longer.
              • Yellow Cab is decent, but Metro Cab is disgusting and terrible.

               •Always uses the same driver.
               •Boston is the worst city for airport taxi services.

  Misc.        •I always use the same driver.
               •I have used the same taxi driver for the last 5 years as I travel 2 to 4 days per week.
               •Used Freedom Cab.
               •We always use the same 2 companies ‐ Yellow Cab and Freedom.

                             2008 Taxi Service Research                                                             26
APPENDIX

 2008 Taxi Service Research   27
Survey Instrument

    2008 Taxi Service Research   28
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