If you are taking a Taxi or Car Service in the Tampa Bay Area it must be legally operated and licensed.
If it isn’t…..
It isn’t Cool, It Isn’t “Rad” or “Bad”, “Sick” or “Sweet”
Possibly, Very Possibly….It isn’t Safe
It’s Wrong….On numerous levels
In Pinellas County, FL the St. Petersburg/Clearwater side of Tampa Bay, the following is an example of the types of Permit/Licensing Stickers which you should see on the Taxi or Car Service you are hiring.
In the picture below, which is the Towncar I drive for BATS Taxi & Towncar Service you will notice 3 Permit Stickers on the rear windshield. You may click on the photo for a larger image. There will also be some Permit Stickers on the front windshield. Below I will show you all of them for our area.
Close up of the rear Permit Stickers
*White Permit Sticker with 9/30/15 is for the City of St. Petersburg, FL/Pinellas
**Green Permit Sticker with the Plane is for the Tampa International Airport
***Yellow Permit Sticker is for operating legally in Hillsborough County
Front Windshield Permit Stickers
***Notice the Yellow Permit Sticker below states that it is “Only Valid With Current Annual Inspection Sticker On Rear Window.”
Legal vehicles and Services MUST be Inspected and Certified Safe by Law
Legally Licensed, Background Checked and Approved Drivers
Below are my personal ID Badges for Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties
IF, your Driver does not display or if they cannot show you these badges for the area or areas he/she serves, then they simply are not operating legally…..Period.
ID Badges and Permit Stickers must be renewed yearly
Simply having the badges is not enough….they MUST go along with the Company you are driving for or contracted to, which is on file with the proper local authorities.
IF, your driver has these ID Badges but are transporting you in their personal vehicle, they are not legal.
Again, they must have valid Permit Stickers like those pictured above.
Think about that. If there is no paper trail….there is no accountability
(I am not saying they look good I am saying they are legal)
Below is my Hillsborough County Public Transit Commission ID Badge. Background check is performed by the Hillsborough County Sheriffs Department and we the driver pays the $100 fee.
Below Is my ID Badge as issued by the St. Petersburg, FL Police Department
Background Check performed by the St. Petersburg Police Department and we the drivers pay the $90 fee.
If the Taxi or Car Service you are in are not legal….
If your driver isn’t legal……
No paper trail…….No accountability.
Think About That
Thank you for stopping by, Lance Greene
Yesterday was one of the reminders for why I love what I am doing as a career. I used to operate my own non-profit mobile crisis unit helping those in need. I was pretty bummed when I closed the non-profit down in 2013. I knew I would continue helping others but I did not know in what capacity.
Driving others has enabled me to help others in a much different and awesome manner that it is very difficult to explain……the easiest way to do so is to say that I am able to help others in a much much more low key, pleasant and peaceful way all while having a blast.
How awesome is that?
So, yesterday I received a call from our dispatch to go to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL to pick up a 10 yr old special needs boy and his father. They were due to check out in 15 minutes. I was 30 minutes away. I left my house immediately, put the car in drive and did not waste any time getting there. I couldn’t wait to be of service to this family. Seriously.
The morning became overwhelming quickly…..I have come to expect this…..its a good overwhelming, not a bad one.
When I arrived at the hospital the young boy and his Dad were sitting outside…..the boy had only his hospital gown on…..he had had a rough night the night before…..they were both very tired and stressed.
I intentionally had soothing quiet music on when I pulled up to the hospital…..just so happens the boy likes Beethoven etc. Perfect!
Both got in my car and I asked the father if the music would be ok. He stated it would and then the boy started saying “radio, radio”…….I had cd’s in. So the father asked me to maybe turn it off. I did.
The boy once again started calling out……”radio, radio”…….so his father asked me to turn it back on. I did.
The boy sat quiet in the back all the way home to Dade City. He talked a bit and mentioned things here and there and smiled a lot. :) I could tell the father was relieved…..I now knew I had done the first part of my job. Put my customers at ease.
The father and I spoke in length on the way bringing them home about those with special needs. It was very cool to hear how much he cared about his son. I was in heaven. What a gift I thought to be able to help someone after a very stressful event in their lives. They had been “transported” via emergency transportation 3 days ago to the hospital and the father hadn’t gotten much sleep in that time and the boy was more than ready to go home.
So again, I did not waste any time getting them home and what a beautiful area that Dade City is.
The young boy called out…..”Moms Car!!” as we came into the driveway. He was excited.
I called out to the young boy and said good-bye to him….he waved with a big smile…..he was home.
When the father returned after getting his son settled inside he said to me in an extremely sincere tone a couple of times…….
“Thank you for taking care of my son”…………..I told him….”Thank you for allowing me to.” When he said it again in conversation as we stood in his driveway…….I stated……”Thank you for that Privilege.”
I meant it.
It was a massive pleasure and ……”A Grand Privilege”
How awesome is that…….what a way to spend the day I thought……and then the overwhelming tears came as I pulled away…..tears of appreciation to be doing something I love and being able to still help and make a difference in others lives. When you are a professional driver there is a great deal to be concentrating on other than simply driving. It took all my skills on this one and I loved every second of it.
My spiritual side says…Thank you God!
P.S. a side note: When you are involved in any form with someone that is a “special needs” individual such as autism, traumatic brain injury and others, I have found if you do NOT treat them like they have what we term as a disability, you will get much better results in communicating and interacting with them. After all, maybe WE are the ones with the disability….:)
Hello, and thank you for stopping by to read my blog. This is my first blog on this website. I have done extensive blogging on other websites I own in the past and hope I can make a little difference here also.
***DISCLAIMER*** The opinions, thoughts, statements and feelings that I post on these blogs are mine (Lance Greene) and mine only. In no way, shape or form do they reflect the opinions or feelings of Bat’s Taxi & Town Car Service of St. Pete Beach, FL.
My Thoughts and Feelings on Uber & Lyft
This is a sensitive subject for many. It is pretty simple for me.
Positive competitive competition is good, negative harmful competition is bad.
Positive competition makes everyone else step up their game a bit and work harder. Nothing wrong with that.
It does not bother me at all that UBER & LYFT are around or trying to do business. I think it is a great concept and welcome it. Why? Because they both have a very specific clientele. I am not after their clientele and do not desire to attract their clientele. I welcome it and also hope they step up and play by the rules or at least some of them.
My main concern is, I believe all companies, drivers and vehicles for hire that transport people should have to go through the same Level 2 Background checks and vehicle inspections that we have to pay for and go through here in Hillsborough County and also the Police Background check that we have to go through and pay for with the St. Petersburg, FL. Police Department.
Just like any other business, when there is something new out there our current clients may go and try it out of curiosity. That is just business and the nature of people and that is perfectly alright. I have always found, once they try the “new thing” they will typically come back.
The “UBER APP” for smart devices is quite the app, it is impressive. Cannot deny that. It is obvious by all the other transportation companies trying to come up with and implement something like it.
Worth of over $40 Billion?? Why does any transportation company need to be worth THAT much? Seems weird to me.
In the beginning it seemed drivers were making great money ($$$). Now I am hearing quite the opposite. If drivers are not able to make decent money then they will not be able to maintain themselves (hygiene) or their vehicles properly (which they own). That is a simple fact.
You the customer might think you are getting a great deal/price for your ride………and you absolutely are. The thing is, depending on where you are, your driver may be starving.
That, is not cool……….Not Ever.
I subscribe to the “Coffeehouse” mentality……..everyone should share in the business and feel comfortable referring around. Spread the wealth so to speak.
I have been shown what the rates are from the Tampa International Airport to St. Pete Beach, FL for UBER and I am telling you customers that those drivers are NOT making any money on those runs. THAT once again is NOT cool. Not now, not ever. Please keep in mind, the UBER & LYFT drivers are using their own personal cars and have to maintain and service everything about that car. In addition, ALL of us drivers typically pay for all the gasoline, car washes and roadway tolls.
So, please, next time you hire a vehicle to take you somewhere, please keep all this in mind. It is important, very important.
Bottom line, if the drivers are Level 2 background checked and vehicles inspected……..
Have at it UBER & LYFT!
I welcome your competition.
Lance Greene – Professional Limo Driver – Level 2 Background Check Passed and Approved
Welcome To Florida!
When Hiring a Town Car at an airport it is always good and important to know a few things before doing so, in order to help you, your fellow passengers and your driver all have a great experience.
Personally, as a professional driver, this is what I need to know in order to ensure a smooth experience for you.
****PLEASE NOTE: From Pinellas County you may take a Taxi or Town Car Service TO the Airport. HOWEVER, Pinellas Taxi’s are not allowed to pick up at the Tampa International Airport, so you MUST order a Town Car for your ride into Pinellas and it is actually very cost effective. Less expensive than taking a Tampa taxi from the Airport to Pinellas typically. Example: Our current rate at Bat’s Taxi & Town Car, to or from TPA to St. Pete Beach or Clearwater Beach in one of our Town Cars is $65.00. Fare to TPA in one of our Taxi’s is $54.00 from St. Pete Beach to TPA for example.
1) Cell Phone Number: Your Cell phone number is preferred or the cell phone number of the person we are picking up. This is very important as airports can be confusing to some and it enables us to reach you easily. Please turn your cell phone on as soon as you land. Personally, I prefer to have you see the sign I am carrying with your name on it rather than calling and disturbing you as you are trying to exit the plane. I will however call you if it has been over 20 minutes and you have not found me yet. IF, you or the person(s) we are picking up do not have a cell phone please make sure you describe to us what they look like (hair color) and if you can what they will be wearing, primarily what colors. Believe me, it makes a huge difference in time.
2) Flight Information: This is extremely important as we receive the incorrect flight information all the time and it ends up creating a huge opportunity for error in picking you up. ***When you are ordering your car and driver, whether you do so via phone or the internet, please read and input the flight information directly from your ticket or airline confirmation/Itinerary and supply us with the following: 1) The Flight number 2) City you will be departing from…please provide the city which you will be flying from…in other words, if you flew to another city before going onto your final destination, please provide that most recent city as your “departure from city”. 3) Arrival time
3) Passengers and Luggage etc etc etc: Please advise us how many passengers there will be. IF, you or they do not have a cell phone please make sure you describe to us what they look like and if you can what they will be wearing, primarily what colors. Will there be children? Their ages? Please keep in mind there are new car seat rules for children in 2015. FLORIDA CAR SEAT RULES Will you have car seats for your children? Will you need one? Will you have a stroller? How many and how big? Will there be anyone in a wheelchair? Will you have a wheelchair with you? How many pieces of luggage will you have including checked and carry-ons? Are any of them oversized?
4) Meeting Your Driver: Most of us professional drivers will be holding a printed sign or an electronic tablet with your name on it and we will meet you typically at the baggage claim level on the side that your airline lets out on…either red side or blue side. IF you DO NOT have any checked luggage, I personally believe it is best to meet you on level 3 where you come off the trams. That way, we go directly to the elevator and up to the car in the parking garage. Saves us all an extra step and time. Bottom line? I want to meet you where is best for you and where YOU want to be met. Simply let me know your preference.
Tampa Airport Baggage Claim Area: There is a Red Side (pictured below) and a Blue Side which you can tell by the color of the elevator banks. This depends on what airline you are on.
Tampa Airport 3rd Level Terminal Side Greeting Area: There are 2 areas like this on this level. All depends on the gate you are coming from.
5) Curbside Pick Up: We can also pick you up at the curb outside of your airline at the baggage claim if you prefer. However, many times due to traffic, this can take much longer then going up with me to the parking garage.
Tampa Airport Curbside: There are again, TWO sides to the airport, RED & BLUE each have a separate curbside location at the baggage claim level. They get pretty congested “In Season” so I do prefer the parking garage for pick ups. That means I will meet and greet you inside the airport.
6) Time: Once you deplane, please make your way to us as soon as possible. We understand you may need to stop and use the restroom or grab a quick coffee to go however. Please keep in mind we are most likely parked in the parking garage and we receive only a half hour free parking. By the time you come down to us under “normal” circumstances we have been there already 15-30 minutes. After the the free hour we then will pay a minimum of $4.00 for the parking. Please, we greatly appreciate you keeping this in mind.
7) Tipping Your Driver: Please tip your drivers. We depend on our tips and we appreciate them greatly! You may not realize it, but most Town Car and or Taxi drivers pay for all parking, road tollways, gasoline, car washes, and any extras they carry in the car for you.
I look forward to taking care of your transportation needs. If you have any questions about anything here please email, text or call me and I will be glad to answer your questions.
Thank You for stopping by!
Lance Greene – Professional Driver, Clearwater, FL.
Mobile#: 727-288-1545 (You may text also)