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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review T.C.'s Taxi Service

I don’t live in Trinidad but have been coming to Trinidad for carnival and other occasions for many years. Since 2007 I had exclusive use of the same driver but this year I was not able to contact him and appears that he’s no longer in business.

I think I saw TC’s Taxi Service on Facebook and I contacted them by email a few weeks before I arrived. I found them to be very prompt and professional in their responses. We confirmed most of my itinerary prior to my arrival and I contracted to use them for all, and I mean all, of my comings and goings. I had a tough itinerary; I arrived at 5:10 am on Carnival Saturday, went non-stop and left at 10:30 am on Ash Wednesday. The price was quite easy to remember TT$200 per round trip. It seemed reasonable to me, probably with the exception of the trip from Carlton Savannah to Brian Lara’s fete. But it wasn’t worth nickel and diming them and I didn’t want to walk.

The airport pick up went smoothly but while in the car on the way into the city I shocking discovered that the driver didn’t know the city well and was asking me, the tourist, for addresses! When I couldn’t give him much help, he offered to do some research on the internet. How resourceful! It worked because to take me to my band meeting point (Targarete Road and Gray Street) he was guided by a hand drawn map. Very reassuring!
The driver always called me when he left his home to advise that he was on his way. I found this annoying because I was always in the middle of doing my makeup. I just need to know when you’re at my hotel. In spite of this he was late twice, once because he fell asleep (his words, not mine).

On Carnival Sunday night on the way back to the hotel I started discussing J'ouvert and was attempting to agree on the pickup time. He exclaimed, “J'ouvert, but that’s in a few hours! I need to sleep!” I got the message and used a hotel car! Another low point was when he had a family member in the car when we were picked up in the afternoon on Carnival Tuesday! I guess she needed a ride as well! Perhaps I should have met him, as he suggested, at the maxi taxi stop. He was very disappointed and frustrated that I didn’t know where this was.

I don’t know how TC’s Taxi Service select their drivers, but the one I had is not suited to provide service to tourists. I would be willing to use them again because I had such great service with the office, but a more knowledgeable, punctual, service oriented driver with Carnival stamina is a must.


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