During the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous industries have suffered losses. They’ve had to adapt. They’ve had to merge and reform themselves to make a firm likely to stand not only the test of time but the test of regulations. One very important industry is the taxi sector.
Taxi drivers are already on the lower end of the pay scale, and with fewer people coming and going due to the pandemic, their job prospects don’t look very good at first glance. However, where there is a crisis there is an opportunity. Taxi drivers have proven their mettle by adapting to meet the needs of a busy populace once more, both by taking advantage of government support and through new business practices. Since the government announced a second national lockdown in November taxi firms have faced uncertainty about their future business modal.
- Government Support
Numerous taxi firms have been unable to find work for months now, leading several enterprises to close down or become bogged down in debt and overhead costs. While there is more to be done, the U.K. government has provided financial support to taxi drivers during this difficult time. The Department for Transport has approved several schemes for taxi drivers to take advantage of to boost their business prospects during coronavirus, including Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans and Bounce Back loans. This also includes one-time payments to individual taxi firms, going a long way towards aiding the taxi sector in this unprecedented pandemic.
- Learning and Adapting
Taxi drivers constantly have to adjust their driving style and their behaviour to accommodate each guest, and this adaptability has given them the fortitude to withstand many of coronavirus’s toughest hurdles. Guests are required to use face coverings, carry a hand sanitizer, and to wash hands before and after travel. Transport for London, for example, has asked drivers to enforce protective measures requiring face coverings, as well as wearing face coverings themselves. These adaptations to the crisis at hand are what allows the taxi industry to bounce back from uncertainty and risk.
- The Future
U.K. taxi drivers are itching to get back to work, and hopefully, with the advent of new vaccination technology, things will start to settle back into their usual groove in 2021. However, numerous changes await the taxi industry, such as how they will deal with a reduced number of people using public transport. However, through courage and adaptability, the taxi industry, with a little help from Westminster, will bounce back and be stronger than ever.