It ain’t easy being Green (Cabs)

by The Masked Barfly on June 12, 2008

Green CabsOur favourite cab company has expanded to Auckland and Christchurch and are doing pretty well in both. But it’s not all expansion and increasing profits. Recently the eco-friendly cab company has had to defend itself against statements from the head of the Taxi Federation. Then they had to fend off spurious claims from other taxi companies (Combined in this case) that they were also "green".

The Commerce Commission began investigating Wellington Combined Taxis in March after receiving complaints about claims on its website. The website suggests the company’s LPG taxis reduce carbon dioxide pollution by up to 25 per cent, and its Nissan Maxima engines are 20 per cent more fuel efficient than traditional automatic transmissions.

And then today I heard another mean story. Green Cabs received a call for a big job: 9pm, 40 people, 10 cars. They naturally accepted. But 10 cabs is a lot out Green Cabs’ fleet so it was also a gamble. You know what’s coming don’t you? That’s right, nobody showed. The cars didn’t wait around for long but it was long enough at that time to miss out on a large number of jobs. Green Cabs have an idea who was behind the prank but we’ll let our readers make up their own mind. Something else that is interesting to note: the average cab driver spends approximately $80 a day on petrol, the average Green Cabbie spends approximately $20 a day on petrol.

Robyn June 22, 2008 at 10:31 am

You seem to have a big problem with anonymous comments and I wonder why you are in the blog business if you cant handle it.

Whenever I see someone commenting anonymously on a blog, it makes me wonder what it is they’re afraid of. In this situation, it seems you’re spreading malicious gossip that you wouldn’t have the guts to mention under your own name.

What makes it even more bizarre is that you claim you don’t even believe this gossip, yet you’re quite happy for it to be perpetuated and demand that it’s up to other people to find out if it’s true or not.

Anonymous indeed. You’ve revealed far more than perhaps you intended.

Anonymous June 21, 2008 at 7:32 pm

I haven’t made anything up. Its a story thats going round. I dont believe just anything I hear so dont try to patronise me. Flash in a Dash is saying its true. Maybe someone can confirm or deny it. You obviously cant.

Anonymous June 21, 2008 at 6:02 pm

I heard that too. Could it really be so???? Maybe its time for someone to check it out – perhaps a real journalist and not some wannabe who writes a blog. If it is true are they offsetting the CO2 of the big cars? How many more cents of cheap third world labour will it cost them to plant the extra trees?

FLASH IN A DASH June 22, 2008 at 1:33 pm

I see we are talking about the big old meanies again. I presume you are referring to WCT (wgtn combined taxis ltd)
As from 01 June nobody is allowed to introduce a petrol powered car, they must be on hybib/lpg/diesel.
The co is taking a bold move, because if it wasnt for greens presence this new police would of never came around. a lot of petrol shareholders are unhappy with the new policy and as a small shareholder at WCT I own and operate a petrol car.
But the green public have to realise it will take time to implement as the newest petrol cars will take time to leave the fleet and you cant just change because $35000 investment with a 2 year old car will prob only return you $15000.
But every week I see more Prios in the WCT fleet than the previous week. And good news is that Toyota Australia will be producing hybrid Camrys by year 2010.

Anonymous June 22, 2008 at 11:07 am

I honestly don’t know if it is true or not. If you look a few posts up you will see someone else started it not me. I’m not spreading anything – it’s already been spread. I’m just commenting on it. Why don’t you get Mr GC to comment and if the rumour is bullshit he gets another plug on your site so everyone’s a winner.

Joanna June 15, 2008 at 2:35 pm

I take taxis late at night when there are no buses. Other than that, I do bus. Everyone should be just like me!

Anonymous June 15, 2008 at 4:49 pm

I remember you from previous vista blogs – you are so perfect, aren’t you

Anonymous June 15, 2008 at 4:46 pm

talk about paranoid….

Anonymous June 15, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Hi it’s Mr Anonymous here again. I wasn’t trying to bag Green Cabs because I think hybrids are cool. I was having a go at some of the contributors to this blog for some rather simplistic attitudes to something that isn’t so simple.

Hadyn – have you done any measurements to gauge the performance of Prius on hills? I suggest you do. While you are at it measure fuel consumption when they carry a lot of weight up hills.

Bobby – your comment about shuttles is just silly. They have a similiar role to buses and most reasonable people would realise they can be used to reduce trips in private cars.

I agree with Sue and Joanna. Catch the bus whenever you can. I don’t think it’s easy for a lot of people most of the time but you can try.

Why would anybody in business give their name on this blog and risk their business being damaged by comments from some of the contributors? It’s not worth it. Love and kisses, Mr Anonymous xxxxx

greenbusters inc June 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm

All this green hype is BS. Go greenwash! let this bunch sit around waiting for a cab in a cold southerley, and yep who they going to call when the greens dont arrive…yep …Green-busters!
who ya going call …greenbusters…when you all alone ..pick up the phone…and call …greenbusters!! …thats not bad..just made that up…

greenbusters inc…great name for a cab company.

FLASH IN A DASH June 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm

How green really is green??????
I ask that because they have bought regency cabs which of course use huge petrol guzzling fairlanes, to wait for it…..drumroll……to transport their customers in big cars who dont want to be squeezed into their dinky toys,,,, opps sorry prios….. but they wouldnt admit that fact on this forum and probually havent announced it on their website either(but i havent checked_)

phil_style June 17, 2008 at 8:52 pm

Nice one Wellingtonista for bringing this to the blogsphere. I note with some amusement that Combined are now ‘trialling’ the Prius! Amid all their Greenwash on the website (such as ‘working towards’ carbon neutrality) I wonder if they’ll have the guts to admit that saving on petrol costs is a driver for change. Environmental efficiency is good for the balance sheet, there’s no need to shy away from admitting that.

stephen clover June 22, 2008 at 10:35 pm

Nobody in business will leave their name here and risk their business and their employees’ livlihoods being damaged by someone who doesn’t like what they are saying.

I’d like to relay something interesting that a couple of people expressed to me when we were talking about this earlier today.

Their take: every time someone drops by and leaves a virtually-illiterate, almost-unreadable anonymous comment, full of barely-coherent libelous rubbish about Green Cabs, a number of things will happen —
1. most people reading it will think that it’s someone associated with a competitor of Green Cabs (most likely Combined) spreading lies about them,
2. they’ll be much more likely to choose Green Cabs next time they take a taxi, and
3. they’ll encourage their friends and colleagues to boycott the competitors (most likely Combined).

The upshot is that your silly comments are having the effect of harming everyone EXCEPT Green Cabs. Which is pretty funny.

ANONYMOUS June 22, 2008 at 6:36 pm


casper June 20, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Dear Ista,

Well, well well, all the dark stuff is being discussed in a public forum, and its about time too. Where does one buy this “alleged book”. I wasnt interviewed & I got a story to tell,a sad story, just about broke me.

Waiting in anticipation for the book signing.Hope the BH gnome will be at the function.

Casper. No longer your friendly ghost.

PS – if the poets reading this – I always looked forward to my copy.

breakerbay kid June 20, 2008 at 10:24 pm

hey if u want to abbreviate wgton combined its not CT, its WCT.

Hadyn June 23, 2008 at 4:02 pm

And with that I think we’ll end comments on this thread.

It’s been fun though hasn’t it?

The Wellingtonista will check with Green Cabs about whether or not they are purchasing any other cab company and report back.

Thanks for the laughs

phil_style June 18, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Well spotted. 😉 I should try for a job at ‘The sun’ . .

gazza June 18, 2008 at 6:12 pm

when will (CT) be trialling African drivers? Theres a lot more to (CT) than meets the eye!

Te Roia June 20, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Combined Cabs are consistently negative in their approach.

First they grizzled about other cab companies using the colours gold and black same day were copying when those are merely the traditional Wellington colours.

Secondly they tried to stop Capital Cabs from using a blue sign. They attempted to influence the Land Transport Safety Authority which must approve taxi signs which caused the question of confusion (normally for a Court) to be considered by the Crown Law Office who decided there was no substance to the complaint.

Then they opposed an application by Dial-A-Cab to register their trademark but, when Dial-a-Cab refused to give in, Combined withdrew their complaint, simply causing unnecessary expense.

Subsequently they sued Dial-A-Cab for changing their distinctively shaped sign by introducing a light blue in place of the previous yellow. The allegations were completely without foundation and bordering on the nonsensical but again they simply involved Dial-A-Cab in significant unnecessary expense before once again withdrawing the lawsuit.

Their continuing complaint that other cab companies are copying them has gained some publicity through print, radio and television notwithstanding their complaints have no reasonable foundation and simply irritate a number of people for no purpose. They appear to be unable to do anything positive and have yet to understand the notion of competition.

Before Easter a year or two ago they complained that the organisers of the Combined Courtenay Place DJs dance party had copied their logo. Their complaint was unsuccessful but they failed to recognize and missed an opportunity of becoming the official cab company for the event and garnering not only some business but some favourable publicity as well.

They are Wellington’s largest cab company, their fares are competitive and the cabs are generally well presented. There is no need for and no sense in their persistently negative approach to competitors and the public. The phrase “get a life” comes to mind.

Hadyn June 15, 2008 at 8:25 am

Oh my goodness! An anonymous comment that’s bagging Green Cabs! What a rare event.

How’s this for fridge magnet size: “Petrol up-hill and battery down”.

We’ve discussed this a lot before, in fact I think you’ll even see something similar in the comments above.

So while those Prius and vans burn extra fuel on the way the hills, on the way back down the vans will still burn fuel while the Prius will store energy in it’s battery to use in normal driving.

And as for Green Cabs taking the job in the first place, maybe they didn’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth? Maybe when the person rang they said “ok” rather than “we’d prefer you spend that large amount of money with our competitors”

bobby June 15, 2008 at 10:30 am

and guess what? who owns a van/shuttle company? combined own co-op shuttles.Havnt you heard the ad on the radio???? thats when they get real eco- they roll out there shuttle fleet! rolling out shuttles makes you green??? green with envy!!!!!!!!!!! greenspeak at its best.
Fridge magnets indeed!

Hadyn June 15, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Hadyn – have you done any measurements to gauge the performance of Prius on hills? I suggest you do. While you are at it measure fuel consumption when they carry a lot of weight up hills.

Nope, have you done any? Tell you what we’ll split it. You look at uphill, I’ll look at downhill and then we can also look at fuel consumption while stopped in traffic.

Hadyn June 15, 2008 at 9:18 pm

I originally wrote “oh get fucked” after reading this, but i changed my mind. Instead…

Green Cabs waited 15 mins and re-called the contact number given them.

Hadyn June 21, 2008 at 6:44 pm

You know what I heard? I heard they eat babies in Satanic rituals in the dead of night around a bubbling cauldron, all the while laughing maniacally laughing at the fools who believe their claims.

Or maybe Anonymous commenters can make up whatever they want?

Anonymous June 15, 2008 at 6:56 pm

I was just trying to let people know that I am a different Anonymous (it’s not easy having the same name as all these other people). I am willing to accept that you are perfect. Don’t worry about the breast thing.

Joanna June 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Well, one of my breasts is about a half a cup bigger than the other, but apart from that, yes, I am actually perfect, thanks for noticing!

But what’s this about a vista blog? I’m running Linux, why would I blog about vista?

Joanna June 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm

So you don’t think I’m perfect then? *sob*

Robyn June 15, 2008 at 5:42 pm

If “green hype” (woteva that is) means nice, quiet comfortable cabs with cheaper than average prices, then I’ll have more of it, thanks.

But you can keep the theme tune, buster.

Anonymous June 15, 2008 at 5:36 pm

I would just like everyone to know that I have no connection whatsoever with the Anonymous contributor who is having a go at Joanna for being so perfect. His/her comments in no way reflect my own. Mr Anonymous.

Joanna June 21, 2008 at 11:13 pm

I dont believe just anything I hear so dont try to patronise me.

Awww poor diddums! Were the big old meanies on the Wellingtonista patronising you? How pretentious of them, how you must suffer to come here and push your anti-hybrid barrow.

stephen clover June 23, 2008 at 10:47 am

Sorry Bevan, but which “boycott campaign”? There’ll be no such thing coming out of the Wellingtonista in any kind of official fashion.

And who exactly are the hypocrites? I find no evidence of any implication — and certainly nothing stated — that Combined was behind it. In fact, without knowing any facts, it would be stupid of us to write such a thing.. not to mention libellous.

So.. once again.. your words, not ours. If you inferred something about Combined from something you read here, good on ya. Please stop throwing silly words like “hypocrite” around, though.

ritchie June 20, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Te Roia wrote: “negative approach to competitors and the public. The phrase “get a life” comes to mind.”

Theres a book about to be published on what they do to their shareholders, on reading it you may be able to ammend the above to “competitors, public and shareholders.”

The book (I am told) will astound readers.It is alleged they employed a private investiagtor in the hunt for a “poet”. Reddish commissioned the investigation late last century.

Cant wait to read it. Sounds very very busy dosent it!


Hadyn June 20, 2008 at 8:58 pm

OK, I have totally no idea what is going on in this comment.

Hadyn June 23, 2008 at 7:52 am

This is the best pro-WCT comment I have seen in all 50+ comments so far. Well done. And thank you for telling us what your bias is clearly.

Bevan June 23, 2008 at 7:49 am

Before you start your boycott campaign consider this: Did anybody ever bother checking the facts at the beginning of this blog, ie the alleged 10 car job that Green Cabs turned up to? When everybody either implied or stated it was Wellington Combined behind it did anybody say “Hang on a minute, it might not be them, it might be bored kids, it may never have happened, it may even have been a rumour another taxi company with something to gain started.” No, you didn’t. So don’t act all righteous about this. You are hypocrits.

Anonymous June 22, 2008 at 9:52 am

I have no problem with hybrids. Like the slogan says they are safer for the environment. I have been in one and it was a nice ride (and I am quite a large person). There’s no anti hybrid barrow and despite the odds I hope there is no anti hubris barrow. If you bothered to research the news you comment on you might know the statement made by Flash in a Dash yesterday about Green Cabs taking over Regency Cabs Wellington is all around the taxi industry. Im not saying its true. Im only saying its there. If Green Cabs was my business I would have been following this blog very closely and by now I would have posted a comment denying Flash in a Dash’s statement if it was not true. Perhaps you better call Mr GC asap and get him to comment. You seem to have a big problem with anonymous comments and I wonder why you are in the blog business if you cant handle it. The ‘probably a spineless coward’ thing is pathetic and childish. Chill out…people reading this are smart enough to form their own opinions. If they think something stinks nothing will change their mind and they have the forum to challenge it. Nobody in business will leave their name here and risk their business and their employees’ livlihoods being damaged by someone who doesn’t like what they are saying. I will remain anonymous so get over it and get on the phone to Mr GC right away. I for one would like to know the truth.

Probably a spineless coward - no just shit scared! June 22, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Robyn wrote: “Whenever I see someone commenting anonymously on a blog, it makes me wonder what it is they’re afraid of.”

it would be very rare for anyone from some larger and not so larger firms to put their names to anyting for worry of being fined bullied,and generally treated like shit.its nothint to do with being a spineless coward, but having work so the kids can be feed mortagage paid at wellingtonista should read the rule bbooks of taxi companys.

enjoying debate all the same.

another annoymous, but not the same one as before.

Hadyn June 15, 2008 at 9:45 pm

According to the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 2008 EPA-estimated mileage, the Prius gets 48/45/46 miles per gallon for city/highway/combined.

This is compared to the best minivan, the Dodge Caravan 2WD, at 17/24/20.

Even the Honda Civic Hybrid isn’t as good (40/45/42).

These are the 2008 tests and are now considered “more realistic” than previous tests, and hence generally harsher.

Here’s a little spur though: Driving on hilly or mountainous terrain or on unpaved roads can reduce fuel economy. The EPA test assumes vehicles operate on flat ground.

But then again: Excessive idling decreases MPG. The EPA city test includes idling, but more idling will lower MPG.

stephen clover June 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm

saving on petrol costs is a driver for change

Heh, I see what you did there…

sue June 15, 2008 at 1:33 pm

anyway i think everyone should just take the bus

breakerbay kid June 15, 2008 at 7:45 pm

this ten car order could of been real. i suppose if they didnt wait the manatory 5 mins who did they call – good old reliable combined
remember most of these green cabbies are ex dodgies are not use to waiting for pre booked jobs. its a new concept for most of their fleet

Anonymous June 14, 2008 at 10:35 pm

Back to the Green Cab story – they should have known the 10 car order was a hoax because what sort of idiot would order 10 cars when 4 vans are much cheaper? And the CO2 emissions from 4 vans are about the same as 10 Prius, or maybe slightly less depending on what kind of vans you use. If the taxis had to travel on the hills then 4 vans would definitely emit a lot less CO2 because Prius have to burn much more petrol on hills and there is little benefit from the battery (especially if they are loaded up with people). Wellington, with all its hills, is actually not the greatest city for driving hybrids. I’m sorry this all can’t easily be written on a fridge magnet (unlike “Green Cabs: better for you, better for the environment”), so just forget I mentioned it.

Hadyn June 16, 2008 at 8:23 am
bobby June 15, 2008 at 7:22 pm

i’ve always liked a woman with one breast bigger than the other.

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