EVENT



Kunhadi Taxi Academy

18-11-2015

When Kunhadi was first established in October 2006, the Lebanese public solely blamed bad road infrastructure and loose traffic law enforcement for the high toll of traffic crashes in Lebanon. Through its campaigns and road safety projects, Kunhadi, in collaboration with design agency M&C Saatchi, successfully shifted this focus to driver behavior, which accounts for more than 80% of the crash cause, as scientific studies have previously proven.

Part of Kunhadi’s projects was “Taxi Night”. Conceived in 2007, it the first party in the world to offer 2-ways obligatory taxi rides for free to all guests, as no cars are allowed. The objective behind this party is to raise awareness against drunk driving and encourage people, especially young party-goers, to use taxis after a night drinking instead of risking the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. The party also encourages guests to remain hydrated throughout the night by offering ‘open water’ (unlimited water for free) and moderate drinking by only including two drinks in the event ticket.
Despite criticism, Taxi Night introduced the culture of taking a taxi back home after a night out. Seven years after the first Taxi Night, young party organizers started calling Kunhadi asking for help to include taxis in their parties to encourage their peers not to drink and drive. In summer 2015, Kunhadi received several calls from wedding organizers asking assistance in including Taxis in their wedding.

After becoming the ‘godfather’ of taxis, Kunhadi began receiving complaints about this service: people complained about cabbies’ driving and unprofessional customer service. Many stated their preference to risk the dangers of impaired driving rather than risk going up with a taxi.

And so Kunhadi moved unto the next step: reforming the taxi service through the first Taxi Academy.
Taxi Academy aims to reinforce the trust of the public in the taxi service by improving the overall quality of this service, in order to decrease drunk driving and fatigue driving incidents.
Kunhadi trainers have and will receive[d] training from Australian and English driving academies with special focus on taxis.
The trainers will train taxi drivers (companies and individuals) on:

  • New Traffic Law
  • Defensive driving
  • Professional customer service with special focus on dealing with drunk/difficult customers
  • First-aid basics
Kunhadi hopes the Taxi Academy will be able to be self-sustainable by imposing small fees on taxi companies and offering the courses for free for individual cabbies.

The Academy was launched during Kunhadi’s 9th anniversary in November 2015.