Edmonton’s taxi companies are trying to “win back” customers they’ve lost to Uber.

Cab services are encouraging their drivers to freshen up their image by enhancing their riders’ experience.

The United Cabbies Association of Edmonton has laid out a ten step plan to improve taxi service.  

  1. Welcoming all customers with a smile
  2. Asking drivers to open and close the door for customers
  3. Keeping cars clean inside and outside
  4. Not talking on the phone when a driver has a customer. If a driver has to answer the phone, they are asked to answer in English and make it a very short conversation
  5. Offering gum to customers
  6. No trip refusals, regardless of customer destination
  7. Encouraging drivers to carry water bottles for customers
  8. A suggestion of providing a red rose for customers on Valentine’s Day
  9. Driving within speed limits and staying focused
  10. No long conversations with customers about politics and religion

Abouzar Aslam, vice president of the United Cabbies Association of Edmonton, expressed hope that the new plan will allow taxi companies to be more competitive.

“We have to improve our service and the little things go a long way,” Aslam said. “We know that if we offer somebody a gum or a water bottle, or roses on Valentine’s Day, then we can win people’s hearts and minds and we can win back the customers we’ve lost to Uber.”

These changes are in response to popular complaints as well the legalization and increasing usage of Uber in Edmonton. The United Cabbies Association of Edmonton estimated that business has been cut in half due to the Uber app. The Uber service won’t be legal in Edmonton until March 1.

It’ll be up to the driver to implement changes and any expenses will have to come out of the driver’s pocket.

With files from Dan Grummett