Behind the wheel: Cab driving is the new bartending

A three part series on the taxi industry in Kelowna

Jordan Salahor moved to Kelowna, from the U.S., more than 13 years ago to play hockey – but he quickly realized his real potential was off the ice.

Instead the soon-to-be father went from playing with the Kelowna Chiefs to becoming an entrepreneur and owning his own taxi.

“It all started with my stepdad, he has been driving with CheckMate Cabs for about three or four years,” explained Salahor. “I was in the trades, and looking to switch trades, so in-between the switch he said if I wanted to earn some quick cash come drive a cab. So I did and now I am kind of addicted.”

That was a year ago when Salahor started driving, now he is an owner of his first vehicle and is looking to hire staff.

“I have always wanted to own businesses and into entrepreneurial stuff, but I never thought it would be a taxi,” he said.

The former hockey player takes pride in getting his car ready for the job as he considers the taxi to be a small business that he drives around in.

Salahor believes the customer service in the taxi industry is changing and becoming friendlier than in the past.

“In the States they have shields in-between the front and the back seat,” he explained. “If you watch on TV they (the customer) don’t even talk to the drivers. If you ever take a cab in the States you don’t say two words to the driver other than where you are going. But, with us it’s basically picking up your friend from the mall and taking them where they need to go. They sit in the front seat with you, they have a conversation.”

He likens taxi driving to bartending when it comes to hospitality.

“Bartenders talk to you and you tell them your life story. It’s kind of cool,” said Salahor. “I’ve noticed, being on the drivers side of it, that when there is more sociable drivers in the company, you attract more customers who open up to you a lot more.”

As a taxi driver Salahor said he aims to be more than just the guy who takes you from point A to point B, he instead hopes to get in touch with his customers.

READ MORE: Behind the wheel: Taxi driving as a career

READ MORE: Behind the wheel: From stay-at-home-mom to entrepreneur

READ MORE: B.C. to add hundreds of taxis, delays Uber, Lyft-style service again

This story is the final article of a three part series, titled Behind the wheel, a look at whose driving business in Kelowna.


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

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