Although surprises can be fun and eagerly anticipated by young and old alike, there are some areas of life where a surprise is not so welcome. Take a taxi for instance.
Knowing that your driver will be on time, take you safely and directly to where you want to go, charge you a fixed price, and provide independent recommendations on local attractions or restaurants when requested by you, is infinitely preferable to a magical mystery tour with a wannabe Formula 1 driver, who hasn't understood a word you have said.
Chauffeur-Style Service: Algarve T-Taxi
Manuel Santos agrees. Indeed, as the founder of the chauffeur-style service, T-Taxi, he goes further. His number one priority - and that of all of the T-Taxi drivers - is passenger safety and security.
Manuel was working at the Quinta do Lago Country Club as Reception Manager when he first developed his vision of Algarve Taxis also known as T-Taxis'. He founded the co-operative in 1989 with 13 drivers. Today there are about 100 independent male and female drivers. Promoting the chauffeur-style taxi service, he encourages clients to choose their preferred driver by providing the mobile phone numbers of each one, as well as the central switchboard number. If you want Luis to collect you, for example, all you have to do is call him directly. If desired, female chauffeurs can drive children and ladies.
Passenger safety is paramount
T-Taxi is run as a co-operative, with an Annual General Assembly and elected President. To be part of the group, each driver has to abide by a set of strict rules. Passenger safety is paramount, drivers have to agree to strictly keep within speed limits and the prices are fixed. Other company regulations include maintaining a level of 100% punctuality and guaranteeing any item accidentally left in the cab is returned to the passenger. Special services provided by T-Taxi include cars for weddings and other events.
And, unlike the Yellow Cabs of New York City, language is never a problem as all T-Taxi drivers speak three languages (usually Portuguese, English and German or French).
They also have to graduate from the Hotel Management School in Faro. The one year taxi diploma is academically demanding and also includes a general history of Portugal and Spain, art history, geography, public relations and languages. The history lessons are particularly important, as all T-Taxi drivers are able to give guided tours of the Algarve, Lisbon, Fatima and Seville.
High Standards of Quality
To be part of the organisation, drivers adhere to high standards of quality, starting with the type of car. T-Taxis are either BMW Station Wagons, Volvo S80s, Jaguars and Mercedes (S or E class). They must be under eight years old and maintained in peak condition, with clean, smoke-free interiors. All T-Taxi drivers wear a suit and tie and each remains in full radio contact with each other and the HQ in Almancil.
For those of us who prefer the safety and predictability of a chauffeur, but find it impractical to employ one for a just few months every year, T-Taxis is the answer.
Telephone: 289 352525