January 14th, 2015
Over the holidays a taxi driver for Freedom Taxi in Philadelphia was shocked and overjoyed to receive a $989.98 tip on a taxi cab ride that lasted less than 2 minutes.
Taxi driver Mr. Maiga was working the late shift when the generous mystery rider flagged down his taxi and asked how he was doing and if he was having a rough night. Mr. Maiga responded that things were OK but the night was a little hectic. After that the rider told him that he would take care of him when they arrived at the destination.
Upon arriving at the destination the rider gave Mr. Maiga his unexpected holiday surprise – a $989.98 tip. Mr. Maiga was shocked by the tip and asked repeatedly why he had tipped so much and if he realized how much he had tipped. The mystery rider told Mr. Maiga that he appreciated how professional he and his cab were and that he wanted to give him the enormous tip before wishing him a good night.
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January 9th, 2014
Cab driver Abu Bakarr Saccoh wanted to stand out in a crowd of potential employees on the hunt for a new job. So, instead of sticking to traditional methods of resume posting, Saccoh decided to try something new.
Saccoh posted his resume in the passenger cabin of his taxi cab.
“The first thing I do when I jump in my cab — after I put my certificate up and get everything in order — I immediately put my resume up,” Saccoh said. “In my cab, you never know who you’re gonna run in to. It’s all about increasing your chances.”
That has been Soccoh’s routine for a year-and-a-half now, along with having his resume posted on nearly every major job search website.
Saccoh, 43, came to the United States from Sierra Leone, West Africa in 2001, and has been driving for Freedom Taxi Company for nearly two years. While he says he enjoys his current job, he also has a strong desire to pursue a career in accounting.
His passion for accounting is accompanied by a desire to help other West African natives who may have trouble understanding the tax filing process.
“Many of my people are very scared about taxes or they don’t understand it. They need somebody they can talk to in their own language, that will tell them how to do it. So, maybe I can have a tax business and do their taxes. That is where I think I will add value, not only to a company but to my community. That is what is important,” he said.
Saccoh says he has obtained numerous degrees in the field. Before coming to the States, Saccoh said he obtained a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of Sierra Leone in 2001. In 2006, Saccoh obtained a second bachelor’s degree, this time in computer technology, from Drexel University. In 2011, he earned a master’s degree in accounting and controllership from Strayer University.
While his approach to a job search may seem unusual to some, Saccoh says he’s had nothing but positive responses from his patrons.
“Every single person that jumps in my cab and sees my resume, you can tell they want to do anything they can do to help. People offer different things, they offer to edit my resume to make it look better or to forward it to other people. People are willing and prepared to help in a lot of different ways,” he said.
Flaster Greenberg attorney Abbe Fletman says she rode in Saccoh’s cab earlier this year, and the two wound up discussing everything from previous trips to Africa to Saccoh’s difficulty finding a job in accounting. Fletman was so impressed with Saccoh’s credentials, she offered to assist him with his search by passing his resume on to someone she knew in the accounting field. While her referral did not lead to a job, Fletman said Saccoh’s taxi cab resume posting is a good way to reach potential employers.
“I think it’s a fine idea for him to post his resume in the cab,” Fletman said. “While there, of course, is dignity and value in driving a cab, he has the educational background for a career in accounting. You never know who might enter his cab and be able to help him on the way to pursue his chosen career.”
Another patron, William Gullan, was so impressed by the resume posting, that he tweeted his followers about it, calling Saccoh’s effort an example of “strong personal marketing.”
“I thought it was just a really impressive way to take advantage if the many people that he meets everyday,” Gullan said. “He seems like a really smart, energetic, optimistic kind of guy. I really hope it works out for him. He’s just the kind of guy you really want to root for.”
Despite general acceptance of the practice among Saccoh’s patrons, Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) spokesman Marty O’Rourke says drivers who post unauthorized materials in their cabs could face a penalty from the PPA. According to O’Rourke, only official notices — rules, regulations, licenses, etc. — are permitted to be posted in the city’s taxi cabs. Saccoh’s resume does not fit that description.
If seen by an inspector, a taxi cab driver in Philadelphia could be cited for having an unauthorized posting in the vehicle, and could be ordered to pay a $100 fine. If the driver agrees to remove the posting, however, O’Rourke says the fine would be reduced to $25.
Saccoh says, if he were to be cited or fined it would be well worth the extra exposure.
“I wake up every morning thinking I’m gonna hit my defining moment today, you know,” he said. “I am very, very hopeful that the opportunity will come at any moment; maybe from someone who gets in my cab.”
September 20th, 2013
About a quarter of Philadelphia’s 1,600 taxicabs are covered by an insurance company that’s in liquidation, putting at risk anyone who comes into contact with them in a traumatic way.
Vehicles insured by Washington-based Ocean Risk Retention Group, which went under earlier this month, are technically covered through Oct. 6, but any accident claims filed by then, plus the more than 600 already pending, will be paid as part of the liquidation.
September 18th, 2013
Come November 1, taxis in the District of Columbia will have to meet some new criteria. If the taxis don’t meet all the criteria, they will be reclassified as sedans, large livery vehicles that are required to follow different rules. Among other things, sedans are not equipped with meters and are not authorized to pick passengers up off the street without pre-arranging the rides. Critics of the new rules say they stifle competition, but the city is implementing them as part of its overhaul of the taxi system.