Well done Green Cabs. Now – about that website?

A big change when I came back to Wellington late last year was the emergence of Green Cabs.
greencab
 
What an overdue idea, and what a great one.

It’s a triple play – better for the environment, better for the drivers and better for customers.  

Their fleet of bright green Toyota Prius cars cost about $45,000 each for the drivers to buy, which is a bit more than the traditional taxi saloons. But once they start using them then the average fuel bill (from drivers I spoken to) is about a third of the price before. A third! 

Unfortunately for the drivers, but fortunately for us, Green Cabs has gone for a competitive pricing model, using the savings on fuel to allow them to become amongst the cheapest of the quality cabs.
greencabs

The cars are small – so not great if you are in a large group, but perfect if you are on your own. I would hazard that most taxi journeys are one or two passengers anyway. Still – you can chose to forgo the Green Cabs option when you are in a large group.

Another benefit is that the small Prius’s are perfect for Wellington’s narrow windy hilly streets. Broadly the hybrids use the engine going up hill, and recharge going down hill, though I’m told that up hill with a bunch of people in the car can be slow going. But I guess that Auckland’s traffic, and Christchurch’s flat roads also provide ample  opportunity for electric drive.

The drivers I’ve met are polite, well dressed and safe, the Green Cabs company offsets emissions by planting trees and so on. NZTaxiblog has some more background.

So what’s not to like? – surely this is a case study of how to spot an opportunity, execute it well and save the planet at the same time?

Well – yes, and kudos to the founders Callum Brown and Dave Jordan. But there is one small problem.

The website. Here’s the booking form – though you have to hunt to find it.

Book a cab - green cabs

Book a cab - green cabs

 Why oh why are there so many fields? You don’t really need all that do you?

And here is the about us – notice the tiny frame for text:
greencabs

 

and so forth. They are Wellington based, and there is no shortage of decent design and implementation companies here. Won’t someone please help them?

About Lance Wiggs

@lancewiggs
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35 Responses to Well done Green Cabs. Now – about that website?

  1. Kieran says:

    They also offer a discount to students in wellington with my company’s Student Card! (Shameless Plug) which makes them EASILY the cheapest in Wellington. From my old flat in Wellington using Combined cost approx $12-14, with Green Cabs + Card = $8-10. They were also a pleasure to deal with.

  2. Marshall says:

    You forgot the awesome little dash with the computer showing which part of the car is powering your trip. That alone makes it worth the trip for any self-respecting geek.

  3. Me says:

    Green cabs are a big joke, No regards for the planet, just how much they will put in the pocket, GREEN it is all right, but green as cash.
    Bunch of wanna be’s, see what are they doing to the drivers, also check the sorry excuse for a dispatch, overall they are the “WORST TAXI COMPANY in NEW ZEALAND”
    I think an investigation should be done here, as green is telling the drivers to break the law.

  4. lance says:

    “Me”
    That’s not exactly a balanced or considered opinion. WHY exactly are green cabs ‘a bunch of wanna-bes’ and what are they doing to the drivers?

    I’ve found their dispatch to be pretty good – always polite. I’ve also found the cabs to be universally clean, the drivers polite and cheerful and the fares reasonable.

    Most importantly exactly How is Green Cabs telling drivers to break the law?

    Note to everyone – libel laws in NZ deal harshly with publishers of statements made by commenters on a blog that are libel. As a commenter you are free to say they are the “worst taxi company in NZ” – as that is opinion – but when you say “green is telling drivers to break the law” then you are making a claim of fact, and if this is wrong (and not refuted) then we are all in trouble.

    I refute and challenge your opinion on this and request that you provide proof. In the absence of proof readers are requested to treat the above as unsubstantiated and opinion.

  5. stuartm says:

    I don’t have any insider information or libelous claims, however I’ve stopped using Green Cabs after too many bad experiences with them. I’ve had rude drivers, drivers taking the long route to get somewhere, drivers talking on the phone while driving, drivers turning up late, drivers getting lost (while the GPS sits on the dashboard unused), and reckless driving to the point that the car would have been no more fuel-efficient than an old V8 Holden. I now stick with the reliable and safe Wellington Combined Taxis. My only complaint with Wellington Combined is that you can’t specifically request a hybrid when you call for a cab.

  6. surfersam says:

    Better for the environment? Nice theory, shame about the reality.
    Even assuming Hybrids pollute less than the average car, you must not forget that much of the energy that a car uses in its life is consumed in the manufacturing process. The majority of this energy comes from oil. As for the Prius electric motor, it is irrelevant once you reach speeds of 30 km/h or going up hills. So any thought that the Prius is gonig to help your cruising economy is misplaced. Although it does give good fuel economy, so do alot of other cars. Also powering the electric motor is half the worlds known supply of Nickel-Cadmium batteries, which are not eco friendly to manufacture or dispose of.

  7. lance says:

    Assuming the pollute less? 70% saving in gas costs is pretty impressive, and plain to see.
    Once you reach the top of the hill, then the car recharges when it comes down – and regardless, in Wellington the cars are delivering the results at the fuel pump.
    While NiCad batteries and the manufacturing process may not be the best – aren’t we happier that Toyota and others are working on this? Do we really want to be still driving gas guzzling ponderous Commodores in 20 years?

  8. surfersam says:

    Yes pollute less, you have to consider the complete life cycle of a vehicle, from factory floor to scrap heap. How they are constructed and disposed affects its total carbon foot print. 70% savings compared to what? If you compare it to a Holden or Ford, then yes, you would have a fuel saving. But you can’t compare the Prius fuel consuption to anything other than a vehicle with the same size petrol engine. Any late model small engined vehicle will have a greater fuel saving when compared to a 6 or 8 cyclinder vehicle. You could run a Toyota Corolla which is the same size as the Prius as a taxi and still have a good saving in gas costs. Nearly all small engined petrol and diesel vehicles produced now can achieve simalar fuel consumpton to the Prius. My point is, compare apples with apples. Dont get me wrong I love the technology in these cars, and small engined, fuel efficent vehicles are they way for the near future.

  9. Isabell says:

    I must fully endorse surfersams comments re modern diesel and petrol engines, that many have better carbon emission performance than the prius hybrids and do not have the problems on the renewal and disposal of the batteries that are likely to become a major enviromental issue.Just have a look at http://www.rightcar.govt.nz or any of the popular mechanics web sites on new motoring technology. Unfortunately we are still a long way from plug in electric cars capable of transporting 4 people and their luggage to the airport, with a range of 300k and a recharge time of less than half an hour to make them viable to the taxi industry.
    Green Cabs have produced great marketing hype for people who do do not want to see beyond their immendiate ride. Perhaps Green cabs can explain what is going to happen to the batteries and what will the carbon footprint involving their repalcement and above all ARE THEY CARBON NEAUTRAL CERTIFIED BY THE RELAVANT GOVERNMENT AGENCY SUCH AS LAND CARE RESEARCH. Isabell

    • Lance Wiggs says:

      I guess if I were a rival cab company I’d be attacking Green Cabs. No – actually I’d be copying them.

      At the end of it all the cost to operate is significantly less – and that means a better deal for the customer. I don’t care if they are carbon neutral, I don’t care about the batteries (which I am sure Toyota are working on). What I care about is that the cars are clean, turn up quickly, have remarkably friendly and happy drivers and are cheap.

      I also can’t remember the last time I was in a cab with 4 people and luggage going to or from an airport.

      L

  10. Isabell says:

    My reply to Lance Wigs re cost, is catch a rickshaw or Tut Tut scooter. When we had them outside the old Arena nightclub they could not even get up Upper Taranaki Street let alone the Terrace .To be serious I do agree that cost, prompt service, friendly drivers who know were they are going,clean comfortable safecabs, taking a reasonable amount of luggage, good communication systems , and trying to be a good enviromental corporate citizen is the overall package I look for in a taxi company.Isabell

    • Lance Wiggs says:

      Nice – but considering I live near the top of Mt Victoria – I’ll leave the poor Tuk tuk folks alone. I guess if I really cared about cost I’d walk – or catch a bus, but this is about fairness, and nobody likes to be ripped off.

  11. Callum Brown says:

    We at the Green taxi company have listened to the good people of Wellington (and further afield). A new website will be in place on Monday 15th of June 2009. Have a look let us know your toughts, any improvements we can make, we do listen and appreciate the feedback we get.

    Couple of side notes… Isabell – when the idea for Green Cabs was being put together we went along to Ministry for Environment and said we want to set up a eco friendly taxi company and we want it to be carbon neutral….what do we need to do…
    The answer at the time was “we don’t know, this is so new we’ll be watching you to see what you do”.
    They did tell us to talk to Land Care which we did. We told them what we were doing and were told we need to be in operation for a year before they can certify us as carbon neutral. I thought well thats not cool we want to try and do everything “Green” from day one and offset our emissions from then too, why wait a year. Problem is their programs were only set upfor existing established companies and weren’t at their own admission that well equipped (at the time to deal with new ones).
    We also told them we want to plant trees and lots of them to offset our emissions (we have a big hairy goal of a million Trees in case anyone wasn’t aware…we have a long way to go). They said (in very a serious scientific boffin type voice) well actually Tree planting is an in exact science when it comes to measuring carbon emissions sequestered (they were even left out of Kyoto because it was all too hard) and you’d be better off buying these carbon credits from us instead. (we don’t like carbon credits very much, we’d much rather plant trees). The problem with carbon credits is that the projects have already happened and by buying a carbon credit (or many of them), we’re adding anything back into the environment. Don’t get me wrong if thats what the world needs to build more renewable sources of energy thats cool. But let others buy them. With your help we’ll keep planting trees.

    On certification we have been ready since January to be certified for ISO14064. Problem is there has (until this month) been no one in the country qualified to certify companies for ISO 14064. JASANZ has almost finished certifying the first and when thats complete. They will be certifying that company auditing and certifying us.

    That said, for Green Cabs it has always been really important for us to offset our emissions before we produce them so any ride in a Green Cab is effectively carbon neutral.

    Lastly thanks for all the support it is really appreciated by everyone here especially our drivers.
    please keep it up, it gets me out of bed everyday cause If you think the hate on the Greenies is just on the blogs, it’s not. Last night one of the Christchurch drivers had someone go up his drive and throw acid or an acidic like substance on his car. Since we got the airport in Wellington we have had other drivers try to abuse and intimidate our drivers and customers.
    Taxi Charge are forcing our guys to go back to using Zip-Zaps for processing Taxi Charge cards (we think because to many taxi charge users were choosing Green Cabs).
    No one should have to put up with any of this. But as people tell me we must be doing something right.
    The good thing is that thanks to your support and our business increasing Our drivers aren’t feeling the recession as much as the other companies out there so again thanks.

  12. Mark Zeman says:

    Nice response Callum.

    As a Prius owner for the last two years I thought I’d chip in on the realities of driving a Prius. Sounds like the harshest comments come from people that have never been behind the wheel of a hybrid.

    Over the last couple of years we’ve nearly halved our petrol bills. We get around 17km/l around town and 20km/l on the open road. This is in the older second generation Prius from 2000. Our old Opel Vectra did 11km/l.

    The petrol motor turns off every time you take your foot off the accelerator and you regenerate power when coasting and braking so open road cruising economy is improved. The most efficient way to drive is to accelerate moderately up to 50km, back off the accelerator and let the electric motor keep you coating at 50km. There is no 30km limit to this technique. While it’s no sports car, it never feels under powered and in fact because of the combined motors you can accelerate quickly.

    Overall I’ve always had good service from Green Cabs and have used them since day one.

  13. surfersam says:

    Sorry you had to own a Vectra Mark, Lol. ;)

    Having a backgroung in automotive engineering I have driven a few Prius.(And Vectras :( ) I was not being harsh on the Prius,
    I do like the concept of these vehicles and the technology in them.(I am a gadget geek) It all just needs to be put into perspective.

    My point was about comparing fuel consumption and the fact that many other late model vehicles can obtain similar fuel consumption figures. You can’t really compare the fuel consumption (or CO2 emissions) of a Prius to a Holden or a Ford, of course it will be less. But then so will a lot of other vehicles with similar sized engines to the Prius.

    I am also not anti Green Cabs, they saw a gap in the market and took it. Thats just good business. If they hadn’t, someone else would have. Competion is good for everyone. :)

    • Arpine says:

      a driver that retencly switched from GC to WCT has already been heard saying he made the wrong choice. apparantly he’s getting less jobs, making less yet has to pay more with the lease of the share. problem is he can’t afford to respray the car and pay for the signage. bummerI guess the grass always looks greener until you actually get there

  14. scoobie doo says:

    Good morning Callum

    One quick question – does green cabs offset its carbon emissions.

    If so how?

    Scoobie

    • Lance Wiggs says:

      Let me add my two cents here from our experience at KiwiPower.

      It’s really hard to offset. First you need to measure, then you need to buy the appropriate carbon credits – trying to buy credits that actually mean something rather than fancy juggling with accounting, and then you need to retire them on an exchange, such as TZ1.

      The systems pretty much just don’t work for small clients at the moment. Measurement itself is an inexact science, many of the credits on offer are of dubious merit, the prices are punitive for smaller players and the transaction costs, and more importantly, minimum transaction volumes all combine to make it tough.

      In time all of this will come together, but for now it is painful and expensive. .

      Green Cabs plants trees in places that need them – which for now is a really positive way to give something back. They also drive cars that use far less fuel than other taxis.

      It’s not that they are perfect – it’s that they are better by far than everyone else.

  15. Isabell says:

    Callum Brown,on your TV ad,you claim”you are the most enviromently friendly taxi company in NZ” that is sure nothing more than marketing hype when by your own admission you are not certified by any NZ govt agency. It is one thing to plant trees in Sengal, Phillipines and Ethopia ,countries that have had civil wars,how are these verified ??? AND WHY ARE YOU NOT A PATROITIC KIWI PLANTING IN NZ THAT CAN BE VERIFIED AND PROVIDING JOBS FOR KIWIS???? furthermore you have conveniently forgotten about River City Cabs in Wanganui that operated Prius cars long before Green Cabs exited .
    Callum I wish you never mentioned Green Cabs at the Airport. which I freqently use. I experienced in the baggage claim area from one your drivers intimidating touting, a practise I was told by the taxi I took is illegal at the Airport. That same driver also told me that Wgtn Airport had in fact suspended a significant number of your drivers for this practise. CAN YOU CONFIRM THIS?? On the positive side I acknowledge your entry into Wgtn has sure shacken up the direction of Wgtn Combined Taxis by them banning new entry petrolcars and putting Hybrids on and who I understand are now NZS FIRST CARBON NEUTRAL GOVT CERTIFIED TAXI COMPANY,the same however cannot be said about Corporate Cabs who appear to be making absolutely no changes by still putting on fuel hungry non carbon friendly V8 Failanes and Commordores.
    For the record I am not a Taxi driver, are associated with the automotive industry, drive a modern Hyundi Acclaim diesel, which runs at 5.6 lts per 100k around town, and on a recent trip around the south island of some 3000k with 7 mountain passes, 3 adults on board and 4 standard airline suitcases in the boot, ran at 4.6 litres to 5.3 ltrs per 100k or $55.00 inclruc, to do up to 800k, and I do not have batteries to replace and leave a carbon footprint for ourchildren.Isabel

  16. Isabell says:

    Slight correction the car I drive is a Hyundai 1.5lt diesel Accent, not an Acclaim, refer http://rightcar.govt.nz for comparisons with performance every bit as good as a Prius if not better.Isabel

  17. Callum Brown says:

    Sorry for the long post -really sorry
    Hmmm interesting
    Ok where to start..

    Touting – there are rules for operating at Wellington Airport. The drivers now what they are, if they aren’t adhered to there are penalties. All companies including WCT have had drivers done for touting. in fact just recently I understand quite a WCT drivers were done for this but again it isn’t a company issue it’s a driver issue be it for us, Corporate, Combined or whoever. We’ve had a few though.

    Isabel sounds like you could be a Wellington Combined customer and thats cool. Just out of curiosity have you ever taken a Green Cab. I had a reporter tell me that a colleague of theirs had said that Wellington Combineds LPG Falcons and Commodores were more eco friendly than our Green Cabs (see Green wash does work… just kidding).

    Are Wellington Combined certified carbon neutral? – in short no “they are working towards it” and have been doing so ever since we came onto the scene. (almost two years now). Have they offset any of their emissions – Not that I am aware of in fact as far as I am aware not a single carbon credit purchased or tree planted… Then factor in they have the largest fleet in Wellington and I’d estimate that 90% (or more) of their vehicles are not eco friendly. Thats a lot of CO2 emissions being pumped into the atmosphere.

    On your Hundai Accent great that you have an efficient vehicle, unfortunately they are a bit small to use as a taxi. We looked at Common Rail Diesels CRDs when deciding on which vehicle to go for but ended up ruling them out because of the NOx emission and particulate matter levels from them, which were 2x that of similar sized petrol vehicles. NOx emissions have been linked to the creation of smog in densly populated areas. particulates have been linked to respiritory problems. We didn’t see the point in helping to fix one problem but at the same time creating others. As a result we ruled out CRDs.

    The other reason we selected hybrids was that for us it was important to support and help promote a technology that moves us away from the use of fossil fuels. In our opinion hybrid technology does that. We would seriously look at a CRD hybrid if one was ever produced and if you read some of the Greenie blogs out on the world wide web many others feel the same way. Theoretically that would be the best of both worlds emissions at half or less than half of the vehicle you currently drive (but in a midsized vehicle) and NOx and particulate emissions no greater than a petrol vehicle of similar size.

    We haven’t had to replace any batteries and do not expect to based on the research we have done.

    The TV ad that you refer to isn’t actually a TV ad. It was an article that was filmed by the production company Adrenalin Group for Maori TV. The article was shown I think in March this year. We put it on our website because it really does get accross exactly what Green Cabs is about. The reason we said in the article that we are the most environmentally friendly taxi company is because we are the only company that runs a fleet of 100% low emission vehicles and have been projecting and offsetting our emissions in advance since day 1. We certainly hadn’t forgotten about River City Taxis, in fact I had quite a few conversations with the owner when we were setting up Green Cabs initially. They were the ones that put my concerns regarding reliability to rest. The only issues they had had were very minor and nothing to do with the Hybrid system or the batteries which was exactly what I wanted to hear.
    In fact I have an article on my wall about Green Cabs that was in the NZ Herald on June 2 last year that has another article inset into it as well. The inset article is “Wanganui Cabs first off the rank with hybrids.” That article was written because we told the reporter about River City Taxis and said you really should talk to these guys too. They were the first to run hybrids in NZ and we think you’ll find they have a really cool story to tell. We will always try and give credit where credit is due.
    Look at Wellington Combined, I might not agree with the way they have gone about it (trying to tell the world that they are Green or more accurately have the right accent on eco…come on what is that!!??!!) but they are a big company that has bitten the bullet and is leading the way when you look at existing companies who have to change the way they do things to reduce their carbon footprint. Their Management team know exactly whats required and are doing a good job in my view in turning things around. The biggest challenge they have is convincing some of the drivers that still have their head stuck in the sand that this is something that their company needs to do. I heard that when their management team put i place a cut off date after which they wouldn’t accept anymore petrol vehicles into the fleet, a number of drivers went out just before the cut off and bought new petrol vehicles. Dealing with that sort of mentality makes the job that much harder. The thing that people need to get through their heads is that sustainability if done well actually cuts costs it is something that everyone should do for that reason alone, and if a juggernaught like Wellington combined can do it their is no reason that any other company no matter what their size is cannot.

    On certification. There’s a couple of really important points here.
    As stated in my earlier post because certification outfits were set up initially only to deal with existing businesses reducinng their carbon footprint, Their was no one that could even cater for the Green Cabs model (being at the time a new business). In fact in my view this is an area that is still sadly lacking. What is required for new businesses is effectively a sustainability checklist that covers all areas of a business and is set up as follows. To get certified as a new business, This is the business practices you need to have in area A, This is the practices in Area B, Area C and so on so that businesses can be set up sustainably and CERTIFIED that they have been from day one. The problem is that all certification programmes to date including Carbon Zero and Landcare have been set up on the premis of establishing an organisations emission footprint, setting a base-line and then ensurng the company reduces its emissions. My personal view is that this is like giving 10 starving children a bowl of rice a day, every day. Its a start and better than nothing but is hardly going to fix the problem. And that is the sad thing about certification programmes – companies can get a baseline established reduce their emissions by 5% and get a certification, Woooohooooo!! NOT!!!. Yes it is better than nothing and companies (under Carbon Zero) have to make this information available to the public so the public can make an informed decision about how green a company actually is. The question is will people look or will they just see that a company has a certification of sorts and go they must be good.

    There are certifications out there trying to appear green that won’t even give their criteria out to the public and seem to have given their certifications out on the basis of how big and prestigious the company(read hotel for company) is. You mentioned Corporate Cabs earlier who don’t appear to be doing anything about their carbon foot print. There are companies (again read hotels) that have been issued a gold award (the highest achievable under this certification) that still use corporate Cabs as their supplier. There are smaller companies that use more eco friendly options and have done everything they can possibly do and have been awarded silver. When going back to the certification group to see what else they need to do to achieve gold, they can’t get an answer. One hotel was given bronze and after jumping up and down was bumped up to silver. This is certainly not how certification bodies should work Everything should be open and transparent.

    I used to get quite dissapointed at the need for certification because as a company we were trying to do things the right way, that we were open and transparent about what we did and that that should be enough. Certification is important however. It’s very important because there are/were a number of companies out their doing anything they could to get shall we say the rub of the green, on the thinest of arguements and when the consumer is being bombarded with this from all angles. Without certification it can be hard to tell what’s genuine and what’s no more than green-wash.

    This is the important part.
    Certification is just the start, it is important to look at what is behind the certification and make up your own mind. Take WCT, they can get certified and that is a good start. They can even (I hope) buy carbon credits to offset their emissions.
    Does getting that sticker or label instantly make them an eco-friendly company…..?? Of course not with 90% of their fleet being what I guess one could call high emission vehicles in my view it doesn’t. Even the carbon credits they buy are from projects that have already occured in the vast majority of instances so the act of purchasing them which is what it is doesn’t actually add anything back to the environment. It is better than nothing But in our view there are better options out there you just have to look for them a little harder and a little commonsense goes a long way in this area in my view.

    You mentioned tree planting and why we haven’t done it here in NZ employing Kiwis, and it is a good question. There is a number of reasons but it all comes back to the impact we can have with the $$$ we have to spend. We can plant 100,000 trees through Trees for the Future each one sequestering an average of 50lbs of carbon each year …or we could plant about 5000 in NZ. Each tree in NZ still only sequesters the same amount of CO2 on average. Add in all the additional benefits with Trees for the Future’s programmes and the decision was a pretty easy one for us. Like us they are really genuine about doing something for climate change but the benefits don’t stop there. The trees in their programmes aren’t verified. But verified against what exactly?? against a scheme that results in the issuing of carbon credits that are then on-sold (sometimes many times over)??
    They have been doing their programmes since the late 70s early eighties long before the big green wave came along. They are also unlike the so called ‘verified’ programmes not for profit. These are the reasons that we selected them. Many of our customers know all this and love them as much as we do. It come’s back to doing things for the right reasons not because some scientific boffin who works for a company/industry making a profit from Carbon Credits says you should.

    Lastly we know how important certification is for Green Cabs and as stated earlier we have been ready to be certified since January. But in my view there are a number of holes in many of the cerification programmes. There is one thing that most of the reputable ones have in common though and that is that they are all based on ISO 14064. We made the decision that for us it wasn’t good enough to obtain a certification ‘based’ on ISO 14064 as their would always be detractors and naysayers poking holes in what we ever we did (call me slightly cynical). So we had to obtain the certification that all the others are based on, and that is what we have been working towards.

    Their are two key reasons to use us in my view and they are what we do for the environment and because we are cheaper. It’s pretty simple and thats the way we wanted it. But it is your view that matters, when you decide which taxi you want to choose, and thats the way it should be.

    • Me says:

      What a joke man,do you deny that YOU personaly tell your drivers to go into the Airport,with fake boards to try and “pinch” some fares?
      Do you deny that 24 of your drivers we found doing that thing in less than 8 days?
      That just prove the point, Green cabs are a JOKE! why dont you go chase your drivers that are leaving you left and right.

  18. Roxana says:

    As the major online taxi community on an international level, Info Taxi (www.infotaxi.org) has a very straight green policy. We recommend all our members to try and aquire when possible green cars. And if the environment issue isn’t enough to determine their judgement, although it should be, then we urge them to think about their daily bill when it comes to fuel.

    So I invite all those taxi companies defending a green industry to join our community and make a case among all Info Taxi members explaining that going green isn’t not that expensive as the tradicionalists say. Besides it is our responsability, and no one else’s how we take care of our environment and what kind of planet leave to our children.

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  21. thewalker says:

    Fantastic post, and comments.

    There is obviously a lot of confusion and stirring going on in the Wellington taxi community. Well done to Callum for engaging so candidly in a public forum.

    One question, what is with the “enter site” front page for the new site? why not just jump straight to the main page?

  22. Tara says:

    Hi Everyone…

    Just wondering how many taxis you actually have. I’m finding there is huge waiting times in Auckland for one of the taxis.

    Also I believe that Smart Diesel cars are better for the environment than Hybrids in regards to emissions- a friend owns a car business.
    I wonder if Green Taxis be getting bigger smart diesel cars, just as the Hybrids are so small.

    On a lighter note, I noticed that Green Taxis seem to be ‘bagging’ other companies- is this really fair, I mean they all do the same thing- taxi travel….

    Being environmental also means that you should be encourging companies to follow your footsteps- Like Wellington Combined, they bought out last week NZ first Carbon Zero taxi fleet- good on them!!
    So happy to see companies following the Eco-way!!

  23. Callum Brown says:

    The Walker – the first page on the website was purely a branding thing that we were trying. feed back so far has been mixed and the guy who built the site agrees with you in that it should just go to the home page, so if anyone else has anythoughts on it let us know, we welcome the feedback.

    Tara – we would definitely like more taxis in Auckland and we do get book out in peak times sometimes.

    On your ‘smart’ diesel cars being better for the environment do you have any data to support your claim as similar sized and larger diesel cars have higher overall emissions than the Prius and also don’t help to move us away from the use of fossil fuels. As stated earlier we researced this fairly extensively and ruled them out because of their NOx and Particulate emissions, something which is often overlooked when looking at environmental credentials.
    The thing is that generally you don’t need a larger car than the Prius for use as a taxi you might get 1 job in 5000 where a Prius isn’t big enough to do the job. In fact I can count on one hand the number of jobs we haven’t been able to do because of the size of the vehicle and we would have completed nearly 500000 jobs since Green Cabs started. Interestingly these jobs also couldn’t be completed by Taxis with LPG conversions either. In my view niether is an arguement to have fleets of big gas guzzlers.

    On bagging other taxi companies completely the opposite really. One of our goals in starting Green Cabs was to force change on the industry. To show that Hybrids can successfully be used as taxis and to get companies to take responsibility for their GHG Emissions and offset them. The comment I made earlier about Wellington Combined was “they are a big company that has bitten the bullet and is leading the way when you look at existing companies who have to change the way they do things to reduce their carbon footprint. Their Management team know exactly whats required and are doing a good job in my view in turning things around.” how is that bagging them?

    They have announced that they are now certified which is brilliant, as I also stated earlier if a company as big as WCT can get certified so they understand what their emissions are and can start reducing them… their is no reason that any company cannot do the same.
    The question I was putting out which you might have taken as bagging although this was never the intention, was.. Does being certified make them an environmentally friendly company. The answer is in my view is no. It makes them responsible but is only the start. Now they need to continue down the path of changing over their approxiamately 90% of vehicles that are not eco friendly. If you reread my earlier post I even said that their management team appear to be doing everything they can but their many of their drivers are rumoured to be making it more difficult than it needs to be. That is frustrating to say the least. how is that bagging them.

    I would say that if people think that certification makes a company eco friendly then perhaps they don’t fully understand what certification is.
    It does then also pose the question of at what point is a company “eco-friendly?”

    If you watch the video clip from Maori TV on our website about Green Cabs you’ll find that one of the things we want to see is every taxi company in NZ running hybrids.
    At Green Cabs we are and have always been about being an environmentally option that costs less than our competition. We have always tried to help other companies, businesses, individuals with what they can do to be more environmentally aware. But we also try to push the boundaries and get people and organisations to think the choices they make. Green vs white, Hybrid vs diesel, Carbon Credits vs Tree planting and so on. At the end of the day the choices are still theirs.

    • Me says:

      Lol you just angry because Combined did it and you did not, well guess what they know what they are doing, which I cant say the same for you.
      And the only Green you care about is the green getting into your pucket, period.

  24. Tara says:

    Wow in response all I can say is you definately have a lot of time on your hands!
    lol that was an essay!

  25. Az says:

    i can not believe this ‘me’ guy, what a sore loser.

    Callum you are doing a good job and some people just can’t handle it!!!

  26. Isabell says:

    Hybrids, all you motorists out their paying road user charges and petrol taxes at the pump just remember when you hop in a hybrid taxi when they are running on batteries they are paying no road taxes or road user charges whatsoverver,only when on petrol,Their fares should be at least half what they are charging now.

  27. KH says:

    do cars only emmit carbon? what about other hazardious components?

  28. AW says:

    I read this with interest.
    I too was a great green cabs fan… until I needed one!
    Booked them in advance to arrive half an hour before an important deadline for a 5 min journey down the road. Playing it safe.

    Unfortunately after 3 or 4 phone calls to their customer services. They came 5 mins after my deadline, with a half hearted apology and the phone number for Callum so he could explain to the person controlling the deadline. Sorry – but I don’t need a note from my taxi company, I need a reliable service!

    Worse thing was they ended up being incredibly expensive as half an hour after I booked it for was peak traffic. My 5 min journey cost about $17.

    Never Again!!!

  29. Great blog here! Also your website loads up very
    fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

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