In his role as General Manager for Bonny’s Taxi, the largest of YVR’s 16 licensed taxi operators, Emon Bari oversees a fleet of more than 80 drivers and taxis serving YVR.
For Emon, day-to-day unpredictability is what makes his role interesting. But he recognizes that this same unpredictability can be frustrating for drivers who are waiting to pick up passengers at YVR. That's what drove him to develop a system to track wait times for cars queued in the taxi holding area to pick up passengers at YVR.
Using his background in software development and some basic algorithms, Emon recently developed a web-based tool that tracks the average wait time between entry to the holding area and curbside pick-up. The first of its kind, this tool is easily available to drivers through a web link on their smart phones. And because the tool also tracks real-time flight information, drivers can see when to expect an influx of passengers based on which flights have just landed at the airport. In turn, this helps ensure that customers will have taxis ready and waiting to deliver them to their destinations of choice.
The information provided by this tool helps drivers make common-sense decisions about their next trip. As YVR taxi operators also work off Sea Island, they may choose to pick up a customer elsewhere if the wait is long. Conversely, drivers can choose to head to the waiting area when the wait is shorter. While Emon works for Bonny’s, he recognized that every taxi operator and driver could benefit from the tool and has rolled it out to all 1500-plus drivers working at YVR. As Emon says, "Accurate information means better decisions made by all drivers, which leads to better service for our customers."
To create a solution that would work well for YVR, Emon and members of YVR’s Commercial Services team travelled to other North American airports, none of which offered a similar system. After three months’ worth of development, the tool was ready to go. Feedback from drivers has been very positive, who find that the estimated wait times are accurate.
Recently, upgrades worth more than $800,000 were made to the taxi holding area, where drivers can relax and wait for their next trip. New amenities including a renovated lunch room with lots of seating, free WiFi, an outdoor green space and room for food carts and car wash service.
The taxi fleet serving YVR customers is clean and well-maintained. More than 70 percent of our taxis are hybrid vehicles. People like Emon work hard to ensure that drivers working at YVR understand the unique needs of our travellers, whether they are international visitors visiting Vancouver for the first time, or regular business travellers on tight schedules.
More information on taxi service at YVR is available on our Taxis page.