Autocab has allocated £500,000 to help operators in need with the creation of an Operator Relief Fund.
The scheme will give operators a discount on their next three monthly Ghost Cloud payments.
Autocab managing director Safa Alkateb (pictured) said: “We pledge that we will not make any profits during this difficult period. We commit that we will only ask you to pay us the cost of delivering the services you need from us and no more.”
He continued: “We pledge that we’re going to conduct our business in a calm, responsible and sustainable fashion. We’ve been trading for 30 years and we’ve seen many competitors come and go during that time. Our customers expect us to be here for the long-term and we plan to be here for the next 30 years.
“We will take care of our loyal and hardworking staff, who have supported you over the years and not make rash decisions which could impact their employment. We will commit to being there for our customers during this difficult time and continue to invest in the future of the taxi industry.”
The private hire taxi sector is reporting a significant drop in demand, as the public heeds government advice and avoids unnecessary travel.
Alkateb said: “Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, we have had a long hard look at our business and especially at our costs. At Autocab our single biggest cost is our people. Over 70% of our team consists of technical staff that help support your system as well as innovate and develop features that enable us all to stay ahead in today’s competitive landscape. Therefore, we are doing everything to ensure we retain our talented team to be able to meet our customer’s increasing demand during this difficult period and fulfil their expectations in the future.”
He added that the second-biggest cost was paying for the cloud architecture that supports Autocab’s booking and dispatch systems, and the Operator Relief Fund was designed to reduce customers’ cloud costs.
Autocab customers are invited to opt-in to the Operator Relief Fund online at https://bit.ly/2y65Me8
This will allow them to access a discount on your payments over the next three months. “We imagine that larger operators are in a slightly better financial position to weather the storm and the purpose of the fund is to give help to the firms that really need it,” Alkateb said.
“In the spirit of working together as an industry, we encourage firms who don’t require support not to opt in to ensure the fund reaches the firms that need it most. Our aim is to distribute the entirety of these funds proportionately across all operators that opt in.”
He concluded: “I personally take inspiration from the brave members of the NHS and key workers who are on the frontline of fighting this virus. We’ve seen our operators offering discounted trips, delivering care packages to vulnerable people and providing help to those who need it most. It makes me proud to be part of this industry and to count you all as customers. I look forward to us all coming through this crisis together.”