The Taxi Driver of the Year Awards was introduced in 1995 and held annually with the exception of 2003, 2006 and 2010. They are designed to give Taxi Drivers, the backbone of the industry, recognition for outstanding service in the industry.
Until 2014, the nominations were made through a nomination form held in the taxi. The 2014 became more “high tech” with nominations now through the website at www.sataxidriveroftheyear.com.au. The Taxi Council also welcomes nominations to our email address at firstname.lastname@example.org Passengers are encouraged to nominate taxi drivers who provide customer service that stands out from the crowd, keeping in mind the following criteria:
- Driver Knowledge and Skills
- Courtesy and Helpfulness
- Driver Vehicle and Presentation
- Safety and Comfort
- Service to Passengers with Special Needs
Special comments are asked for on the nomination page and those comments are taken into account by the judges. The drivers who receive the best most appropriate comments are personally interviewed at the completion of the awards by the judging panel. The driver presents himself for a personal interview. Questions at this interview normally relate to the taxi industry. The grand winner is announced at the gala dinner at the end of the awards. With the amount of nomination forms received increasing on an annual basis, it is clear that the drivers very well receive the awards. The committee believes that it is one of the essential ingredients in maintaining its place as the number one taxi provider in Australia.
November 2015 -From Left to right - Casimir Fung, Haider Ali-Shah, President Jim Triantafyllou and Darryl Nicholls
The vital role of the South Australian taxi industry was highlighted at the prestigious South Australian Tourism Awards on Friday 13th November 2015.
A 13-year veteran of the taxi industry, Haider Ali-Shah received one of the major awards of the night, taking out the honour of being named the South Australian Taxi Driver of the Year.
The award celebrates the taxi industry’s commitment to service excellence and customer satisfaction and is great acknowledgement of its positive impact on the State’s tourism experience.
Haider’s business card reads ‘for courtesies too often forgotten’ and reflects his everyday commitment to creating a great customer experience. Runner’s up Darryl Nicholls and Casimir Fung are also wonderful ambassadors for the taxi industry and can be very proud of their efforts in providing superior service to taxi patrons.
Past Winners: 2010 No Competition, 2009 Joint Winners: Allen George & Samir Hasich, 2008 Casimir Fung, 2007 Ashraf Khan, 2006 No Competition, 2005 Trevor Hendry, 2004 Arthur Harlaftis, 2003 No competition, 2002 Phil Burton, 2001 Trevor Hendry, 99-00 Val McConnell, 1998 Trevor Pretty, 1997 D Fitzpatrick, 95-96 Steven Costi.
Navjot Singh Randhawa
Always wearing a warm smile, Navjot delivers a level of service that makes his passengers feel like their travelling in his car, rather than a taxi. Heralded ‘everything you’d wish for in a driver’, Navjot has become a regular driver of choice among the numerous passengers who nominated him for this award.
Co-winner of South Australia’s Taxi Driver Of The Year, Navjot Singh Randhawa, is using his accolade as a means of driving others to pursue industry excellence.
Navjot was awarded the prestigious title at last year’s SA Tourism Awards, after receiving votes from numerous South Australian passengers. “I feel immensely proud of winning the award and have had so many people congratulate me,” Navjot says.
“Many colleagues have even asked me for some tips on how to win the award and I put it down to providing outstanding customer service. “Always ensure your vehicle is clean, you are presentable as the driver, punctual and friendly.” Taxi Council SA President Jim Triantafyllou says Navjot attracted significant complimentary passenger feedback from his excellence in driving to his friendly nature, immaculate vehicle and consistency in punctuality. “The Award is a popular in appealing not only to members of the public to vote for their favourite driver but also for drivers to strive for excellence while on the job,” Mr Triantafyllou says.
“Publicly recognising our drivers for their extraordinary effort is a great way to drive service excellence and highlight the importance of the industry to the tourism sector.” A panel of community leaders assess the nominations for Taxi Driver Of The Year, covering driver knowledge and skills, presentation, safety and comfort, courtesy and helpfulness, as well as service to passengers with special needs.
His friendly nature, sense of humour and dedication to service excellence drew numerous nominations for this much-loved Barossa Valley cabbie. Karl, or ‘KJ’ as he’s known to his regulars, is more than a taxi driver—he’s a tour guide for many visitors to the area.