JOHOR BARU: Taxi drivers here are attending languages classes to improve their language and communication skills to enhance the taxi service for their customers.
Some 100 taxi drivers from the region will be participating in communicative English and Mandarin classes to build up their command of the languages to raise the standard of taxi drivers in Johor Baru.
The programme is a joint initiative by the Johor Public Transport Corporation (PAJ) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), and will also see the assistance of the UTM Language Academy.
PAJ chief executive officer Suhairi Hashim said that the programme would help strengthen the taxi drivers’ communication skills with their wide range of customers and help boost their efficiency and services.
“This will enable them to communicate better with both local and foreign customers who are not well-versed in the Malay language,” he said, adding that it will also be a big help for both parties if foreign customers are unable to speak in Malay.
He said that the communicative language classes will also upgrade the standard of public transportation in the region, and set a positive outlook for taxi drivers acting as tourism ambassadors of the region.
Suhairi added that the programme was in line with Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin’s vision on taxi services being a strong driving force behind the tourism industry in the state.
To boost the taxi industry from the beginning of next year, the communication languages classes are held from Dec 7 to Dec 28, with 25 taxi drivers in each class.