Name of the School: Global Indian International School, BalestierAddress : 51, Jalan Rajah, Singapore 329154School Leader: Harshalya PandeyStory Title: Hail,CABtain!Tel.: 6254 3258 Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgMentor Teacher : Divya RajeshSTUDENT INFORMATION 1) Name: Anushka Sharda Age:9 Grade: 4 2) Name: Chanakya Kalyanaraman Age:9 Grade: 4 3) Name: Harshalya Pandey Age:10 Grade: 4 4) Name: Inbaayini Anbarasan Age:9 Grade: 4 5) Name: Janhavi Kulkarni Age:9 Grade: 4
“Hail, CABtain!”, Week 3, August, 2011 * Reasons: Is it due to lack of knowledge*Fun filled day ends with a long wait for taxi. about taxi hailing procedure?* Shopping centre visit & wait with heavy bags. * Are we waiting at the wrong places?* Dad has urgent appointment and taxis don’t *Can we interview the passengers?stop. * Interview taxis drivers?* An overseas trip begins with an anxious taxiwait. * Complain to authorities if service is bad?The common problem: * How about this positive approach?!“Not getting taxis when needed” Educate and Appreciate! Summary: * Distributed to the students- around 800 cards in all . Teachers & staff joined us too. *Made posters and presented in assembly to They spread the word to their friends and educate students. relatives. We gave the cards to school guests *Designed the info card & Thank you note. and also asked GIIS East Coast and Queenstown friends to spread the message. * All the primary and K2 students coloured the ‘Thank you cards’. * Taxi drivers received the cards with great joy. Some even offered discounts to * We laminated, cut, punched a hole, tied children. An announcement was done in the strings – The beautiful cards for cabbies assembly not to accept discounts. We just were ready! want to appreciate them!
A detailed report on DFC project – “Hail,CABtain!” -by Team ‘Transformers’, GIIS Balestier1. We FEEL : After attending the Catch Module 1 and Module 2 workshops, we got inspired to take up a project. We listed the problems that bothered us. They were about littering in the public places, environmental issues like global warming and about the difficulty of getting taxis in Singapore. We shared our experiences of the taxi problem: - When we went for picnics, the happy day ended with waiting for taxis. - After a shopping trip, we watch the empty cabs zoom by without stopping to pick us. - During weekdays, it is not easy for our parents to get a cab to reach on time to appointments. So we decided to DO SOMETHING to solve the problem of “Not getting taxis when needed”. As we are addressing problem related to transport scene, we call ourselves “The Transformers”. Our team is working on giving information on hailing cabs and bringing a change in their service. So, the project name is: “Hail, CABtain!”2. We THINK : PROBLEM DEFINITION: We had meetings to discuss about the problem. We thought “Why is there a problem like this?” It may not be true that the taxis drivers’ service is poor in general. Are we missing something? Are we blaming them for no mistake of theirs? We visited the LTA website to learn more about taxis. We got the information about taxi hailing procedure in Singapore. One should not wait along the double yellow zigzag line at the road. Waiting at the bus stops, bus bays or along the bus lane operating hours is not allowed. In the CBD area, one has to wait only at the taxi stops. Apart from these, we also learnt the signs shown at the cabs. If the taxi shows GREEN light on the top, it is for passenger service. If the taxi shows RED light or BUSY , it is ferrying a passenger and will not stop. If the sign is ON CALL, the cab is heading to pick the passenger who has called to make the taxi booking. If the cab shows CHANGE SHIFT sign, that means the driver is heading home after his duty. He may wish to ferry only the passengers heading towards his destination.
This is one part of the problem and we thought the solution would be to educate thepassengers with the above information.Even if we wait at the right place for a cab and the with a GREEN light does not stop to pick ,then that may be an issue with the driver’s service.This is another part of the problem to be addressed.POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS:Awareness on taxi hailing procedure: Our plan was to make information cards abouttaxi hailing procedure and to distribute to the general public. We thought about talkingto passengers waiting near busy shopping places, bus stops and near double yellowzigzag lines. That way we could bring awareness to more people.To motivate the cabbies to improve their service: Our idea was to give LTA hotline topassengers and request them to give feedback.We also wanted to make thank you cards and distribute to the drivers who providedgood service.Since we were not sure about the rules and regulations, our teacher approached LTAand explained our plans. We also wrote to the taxi companies. Our hope was to gettheir full support to improve the service standards of taxis in Singapore.But the things did not exactly go the way wanted it to!HURDLES FACED:LTA : LTA authorities responded with many inputs: For meeting the public, we should carry an authorization letter from the school. We have to get taxi companies’ permission if before interviewing the drivers. LTA hotline is not to be used for service complaints. Individual taxi companies’ feedback lines are to be used instead.Taxi companies : Trans-Cab Services Pte Ltd : Responded, but said they are sorry that they can’t support our project. ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited : A detailed response was given. They explained the measures they already have in place to address the problems. They also said that filming or interviewing of cabbies are not allowed. However they wished us success with our project!
3. We DO : After LTA and Taxi companies’ response, we had to relook at our approach. We still were enthusiastic to continue with the project. We knew this problem existed. We believed that we could bring a change! We wrote to our principal asking for permission to start the project. She guided us to continue the project with a positive note. She also assured school’s support in spreading the message to students, parents and other campuses. It was decided that we stick to the ‘positive approach’ and to appreciate the cabby who stops to pick the passengers. Awareness Programme: We made a big poster about the upcoming project and put up in a prominent place during the school’s parent-teacher-meeting. We prepared and presented the information about our project during our school assembly. It was an educative session for all the primary students. Design : With our teachers’ guidance the info card was prepared. This has a list of the taxi companies’ feedback numbers. The design is such that it can be kept in a wallet. Also the ‘Thank you’ cards were made. One side of the card has space for students to draw and colour. It has our project and school name. The other side of the card contains a poem appreciating the cabby: “Today, I thought I should extend an arm To someone who drives amidst the roads canker with calm To reach us in time for our bureau or prom Even in the midst of bad rain and storm Id like to say THANK YOU for your kind gesture.. “ A note to the parent was also designed, like this : “Dear Parent, The school is participating in Design For Change competition. Our team is working on the project called “Hail, CABtain!” When a taxi stops to pick you, kindly encourage your child to give this card to the driver and thank him/her. We request you to call the feedback numbers to appreciate the service. Thanks for supporting our project, DFC team, GIIS Balestier “
Card Making : During the ‘House Activity’ hour, all the primary students decorated the cards. We, the team ensured every class got the cards. We along with our friends enjoyed this activity. Kindergarten teachers guided the K2 students to colour the cards. After the cards were coloured, our teachers laminated them, cut them neatly, and punched a hole and tied a nice string to it. This beautiful card was ready to be given to the cabby. He then could hang it near the mirror of the taxi. We needed some more cards to distribute to teachers and guests. So, we set up a ‘Card making factory’ in the classrooms and canteen. Our Annual sports day preparation was happening in batches and some students were free. We took this opportunity to complete our task. Our friends were very excited to draw some more cards and help us! Distribution : To students: After the cards were done, it was time to send them with the students. We gave the card along with information to all through the school diary. Each diary contained: Information note to parent, Info card listing the taxi feedback numbers and The thank you card. To teachers and staff: Thank you cards were given to teachers and staff too. They agreed to support our project by giving the cards to taxi drivers. To other campuses: Our school hosted a inter-school quiz competition. At the end of the event, the students of East coast and Queenstown campuses were briefed about our project. We presented them with the cards and requested them to share this with their friends at school and family. To guests: We got the opportunity to distribute the cards to some guests who visited our school.
4. They SAY: We and our friends started giving the Thank you notes to taxi drivers. There were very happy to receive the appreciation! Mr.Sriharsha Bhat, a student of NUS supported us by giving the card to cabby. He shared his experience : “Hi Hail CABtain team, I have to say your initiative to provide tokens of appreciation to taxi drivers would help increase goodwill for their sector. I gave one of the cards to a cab driver after i took his cab to west coast park and his reaction was one of great joy, it seemed I had made his day. I think it is a great initiative to show appreciation to cab drivers, as it would help reiterate the fact that people need them and appreciate their services provided. I hope it does work in improving cab services island wide. Best Regards Sriharsha Bhat(Mr) Year 3, Mechanical Engineering,NUS“ A parent, Mr.Anbarasan wrote to the teacher on hearing about the project : “Dear Madam, We wish to share our thoughts about the "Design for Change" project. It has a small beginning but far reaching. Personally, we have experienced problems with getting taxis and taxi drivers. Personally, I made it a point to infuse some positive thoughts into taxi drivers by engaging them in dialogues as I travel. This might be a long rope for the kids. But, the project will certainly become a talking point amidst the taxi drivers and will reinforce a positive thought among them. It will certainly take some time for this project to see results. But when it reaches to the majority of taxi drivers, the effect will be long lasting. We certainly wish this project a big success which will make the team who started this very proud of. Best Regards, Anbarasan”
After taking a taxi with her children, a parent shared her experience in our school’s facebook profile like this : “Archana Narayanan Design for change,HAil CABtain",Today my kids andI had to hail a cab and they were " mighty excited to give the cab driver their thank you cards. He was at first surprised,then confused and lastly happy and thanked the kids profusely..in turn the kids were absolutely delighted! Thanks GIIS for this enriching experience! Like · · 4 hours ago “5. Unexpected outcome Taxi drivers were very happy to receive the appreciative cards from the children. Many of them gave some sweets or small gifts as token of their appreciation for the child’s gesture. But some of the cabbies also gave discounts and took less money than the taxi fare. The school decided to communicate and clarify the idea or the project again to students. During the school assembly, our primary coordinator announced to everyone requesting not to accept any discount. Our project is to appreciate them for their good service. We do not wish to deprive them of their earning.6. LTA supports , ComfortDelgro respond Our teacher contacted LTA and the taxi companies giving the updates of our project. LTA appreciated our efforts and forwarded the mail to relevant parties. ComfortDelgro responded asking for more information. Yes! We did create some BUZZ !!..
7. Acknowledgements Our Sincere thanks to: Ms.Madhu Verma and the entire DFC team who inspired us to take up the project, conducted workshops and instilled the “I CAN!” spirit. Our school, GIIS Balestier’s management, principal ma’am for her guidance and support, teachers and staff for all the help they have done. Our friends at school who enthusiastically participated in this project. Ms. Varsha Srivatsan, the poet who gave her work for our card. Ms.Lena who conducted the Microsoft workshop for us. To all the parents of GIIS school, who encouraged us and supported us