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News A Publication of Radio Taxis Group

FROM THE DESK OF GEOFFREY RIESEL:

2011 WAS AN UNCERTAIN year for all of us in Britain. The economy has been slow to recover and Europe continues to hold its breath over the Euro economic quandary. The world has at times seemed upside down, and I’m sure that we’ve all asked ourselves, at one point or another, how long this will go on.

No.4 Winter 2012

early June. We can surely expect a great deal of pageantry and royal celebration of our proud history for which our country is known around the world. Add to all this our annual landmark events like Wimbledon, the City of London Festival, the London Marathon, and the Great River Race, to name just a few, and I’m sure you’ll agree: We live in one of the greatest cities in the world.

And yet, as we go into 2012, we have much to look forward to that will remind us of the great and resilient nation in which we live, and that will hopefully lead the way, at least in part, to economic recovery. For starters, we are all looking forward to London 2012, when our capital city will be host to the most famous sporting events on earth, the Olympic Games. Millions of visitors will arrive in July and August for the legendary Games, also followed by two weeks of the outstanding and inspirational Paralympic Games. London will be on full view for the world for our guests arriving in the city and for the billions watching from every corner of the globe. And I am confident that the world will not be disappointed. This year also brings the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years after her accession to the throne following the passing of her father King George VI in 1952. Indeed, this is an event that will be marked at various times throughout the year, and in a number of different countries. The largest events will take place in London in

“Millions of visitors will arrive in July and August for the legendary Olympic Games.” And as we say goodbye to a year that challenged us all, let’s all look ahead to 2012 and make it the best year ever, together. On behalf of all of our team here at Radio Taxis, I wish you, your families and your colleagues, a wonderful new year. Geoffrey Riesel CEO, Radio Taxis Group.

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Are you a Tweeter a Twit or a Twitterer? @RadioTaxis_Boss 2011/12 is the Year of Twitter, writes Geoffrey Riesel WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING INTO THIS NEW communication phenomenon and suggest some Twitter accounts you might like to follow. Established just five years ago, Twitter is an online social networking and micro blogging service that enables users to send and read textbased posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as “tweets”. Twitter has rapidly gained worldwide popularity and now has more than 200 million users sending more than an incredible 220 million tweets a day! It is sometimes described as the text message service of the internet and has become one of the most popular ways that news is delivered, important information relayed, and it’s also a form of entertainment. Twitter now regularly sets the news agenda and allows for people with similar interests to create a dialogue with each other. It is a service that can also be particularly useful to those out and about in London all day. Following a series of seminars where the potential benefit to our business was pointed out to me, I have now become a regular Twitter user because I now understand that Twitter is an important tool for communicating with drivers, with clients and with other stakeholders. It also allows me to stay up to date with key news items, stories about London and sports results. I hope readers will find my Twitter feed a good way of getting more information

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about what’s important for London for our industry and of course for the work of Radio Taxis.

THE TOP TEN TWITTERS IN BRITAIN Rank

Twitter Name

Followers

Description

1.

@coldplay

4.59 million

Official Coldplay Twitter Page.

2.

@rustyrockets

3.47 million

Comedian Russell Brand.

3.

@stephenfry

3.38 million

Stephen Fry’s Twitter Page ‘British Actor, Writer, Lord of Dance, Prince of Swimwear and Blogger.’

4.

@MrsLRCooper

3.12 million

Official site of Lily Allen “I can babble a little.”

5.

@Fearnecotton

2.35 million

Official Fearne Cotton ‘Rockin in a free world.’

6.

@BBCBreaking

2.2 million

Breaking news alerts & updates from the BBC.

7.

@OfficialAdele

2.12 million

Official site for Adele.

8.

@eddieizzard

2.11 million

Comedian Eddie Izzard I’m a British European, I think like an American and I was born in an Arabic country.

9.

@waynerooney

2.05 million

Footballer Wayne Rooney.

10.

@emwatson

1.88 million

‘British actress and fair trade supporter.’


RadioTaxis

An App by any other name would smell as sweet... By Peter Gibson, RTG’s Group Strategic Director

THE WORLD HAS SEEN AN EXPLOSION OF APPS. There is indeed an App for almost everything, from the more academic (like ones that explain the night sky’s constellations) to the useful (a dog whistle to help you train unruly Fido) to the downright ridiculous (like the one that challenges you to simply hold down a button as long as possible and tracks your best times). Now, here at Radio Taxis, we’re excited to have created an “App” (and I’ll explain why that word is in quotations) for account customers to be able to book a cab using their phones when they are out and about. It’s called “taxi connect.” First of all I must declare that I am of a certain age – my next birthday will begin with a six and end with a zero. I have a Blackberry that is a couple of years old and works fine. I am not on Facebook, I am not on Twitter and I do not have a blog. I am, however, completely aware that a business that does not take the world of social media seriously is in danger of becoming invisible. For the new Radio Taxis “App” we set out to develop a one-size-fits-all application that will work on any type of mobile device and enable the user to book a cab on account from that phone. I am pleased to say that we have succeeded. Our App is really a shortcut to a web browser that is in effect a mobile internet booker. With the simple touch of an icon, you will be taken to a booking form. Purists may say this isn’t exactly a full-fledged App, but it serves our purpose exactly as needed: to make it easier than ever for account holders to book a cab.

touch of an “With the simpllebe taken to a icon, you w il oking form.” bo As I know the limits of my knowledge, I am thankful to be advised by the younger members of our fantastic team. And I am pleased to announce the launch of Radio Taxis mobile booker, which is called “taxi connect.” It looks like an App and it acts like an App but, ok, it may not “technically” be an App. Please go to www.TaxiConnect.co.uk and save the shortcut icon (they wouldn’t let me say “download the App”) and book a cab. If, like me, you think that this is pretty smart technology and you think that it looks and smells like an App then you are probably the wrong side of 30. And, if you are under 30 (or any age for that matter) and you use the mobile booker and you like the way that it works, then I say, to borrow from William Shakespeare, “An app by any other name would smell as sweet.”

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Are you using our convenient text messaging service? RADIO TAXIS IS COMMITTED TO DELIVERING THE VERY BEST TAXICAB SERVICE IN LONDON. That commitment starts from the minute you book a cab to the moment our professional drivers bring you safely to your destination. We also use technology to bring you the best service. That means employing “closest cab” despatching to ensure a taxi arrives as quickly as possible to pick you up. On top of that, once our drivers arrive to pick you up, we’ll send a text message to your mobile phone letting you know your vehicle is waiting outside! The text messaging service is free of charge. All you have to do is give your mobile telephone number to our office when booking your next cab. Why wait outside in the weather? Tie up those loose ends at the office or enjoy a cup of tea at home, knowing that we’re on the way. We’ll text you the moment we arrive!

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What have the Greeks done for us? FOR STARTERS, THEY GAVE US ‘TAXI’ Amongst the many invaluable cornerstones of western civilisation provided by ancient Greek culture, it is probably less well known that ancient Greece also gave us the very word “taxi” from the Greek word ‘Tacu’ meaning “fast” (although I doubt even Socrates could have foreseen 21st Century London traffic). I have just returned from a short trip to Athens to visit relatives and while there, I spoke to some taxi drivers to get a feel for how their business differed from that in London and how they were being affected by the economic crisis that had engulfed the country. Taxis are easily found in Athens, and easily spotted by the “taxi” sign on the top of the vehicle. However unlike the iconic, London black taxi, vehicles come in different shapes and sizes, with the Skoda Octavia being the most numerous. Sharing taxis is a fact of life in the big cities and it is normal for the driver to stop the taxi and ask other people where they are going. If their route is compatible with yours, these other people will come on board. However, you don’t share the fare, everybody pays individually. Anybody see this catching on in London? In recent months, there have been mass demonstrations by taxi drivers in Athens over an IMF-dictated reform to open up their profession by making it easier and cheaper to buy taxi licences, reducing the current licence fee from 80,000 to just 3,000. The drivers argue that there is no need for any more taxis as there certainly doesn’t appear to be a shortage (there are about 15,000 in Athens alone)! Historically, fares in Greece and the Greek Islands have been amongst the cheapest in Europe (although the price doubles between midnight and 6am). Since last year, when the economic crisis deepened, fare prices have increased parallel to inflation and one driver estimated that his work had decreased by at least 50% over the same period. Drivers can work up to 12 – 15 hours per day and sometimes now go home with only “30 or 40 Euro.” I hope that there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Greek taxi drivers and their economy because, as the originators, the licensed ‘taxi’ industry owes them a debt of gratitude. Chris Constantinou RTG’s Sales and Account Manager.

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Radio Taxis has returned to its roots by re-launching its courier and deliveryservice FOR MANY YEARS, indeed long before the bike and van courier industry was even conceived, Radio Taxis would complete hundreds of deliveries daily sometimes making as many as 30 to 40 deliveries at one time. Many of these multiple deliveries could even still be delivered economically by taxi today but we do appreciate that times have changed and that our customers now use courier companies as a matter of course. COURIER SERVICE So we have formed working partnerships with many of the best and most efficient companies and we are proud to be able to now offer you both Taxi and Courier services at the same time. That’s just one bill and if you require just one set of Management Information. NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL Since its launch a couple of years ago, our Network Team at Radio Taxis has successfully provide our clients with the full range of services including of course Taxis, Private Hire Cars, Limousines, Chauffeurs, Buses and Coaches, Hotel rooms and now Courier services as well. All available under one roof just by contacting a single phone number. MULTI SERVICE And these facilities aren’t only available in London; our Network Team operates all of these services with our partners throughout the United Kingdom and right across the world, National and International services. You can ask for these services when you either book your Taxi in the normal way or by phoning our Network Team direct on: 0207 561 5072 Wishing you a very prosperous 2012. Alan Franks Group Operations Director.

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Announcements... PERSONNEL UPDATE – We are thrilled with the news that RTG’s Nicole Duxbury and her husband Scott have welcomed into this world their first child, Maxwell. The little guy was born August 18 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, weighing a little over 8 and a half pounds. Nicole reports, “He is putting on weight nicely and every day is a miracle! Being a Mummy is the best experience ever!” Nicole is RTG’s Director of Account Management, and husband Scott is the former chief executive of West Ham United. In other RTG news, we wanted to be sure to introduce you to Chris Constantinou (see his story in this newsletter on Greece and taxis), who joined the RTG team this year as Sales and Account Manager, overseeing clients including BP and Lloyds Banking Group. He came to RTG with over 23 years of experience in the travel industry, including as head of Sales & Aviation at Argo Holidays. He is an avid football and golf fan, and says he “occasionally jogs to keep fit, but only if it is not raining!”

News

THE RTG NEWS PRODUCTION TEAM IS: Geoffrey Riesel – Managing Editor Penny Cuckston – Administration Doug Canning, DC-Graphics – Design, typesetting & layout Peter Gibson, Alan Franks, Gordon Brown – Contributors Design: © 2012 / DC-Graphics / Barnet / Herts T: 0208 440 1155 / W: dc-graphics.co.uk Content: © 2012 / Radio Taxis Group Ltd / Lennox Road London / N4 3TX

The information and images contained in this Newsletter are subject to copyright. Unauthorised use, disclosure or copying without prior written permission is strictly prohibited.

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RTG News - Winter 2012