Turtle Taxi: Atypical Taxi Service Takes The Long Way Home
Most of us that use taxi services have one core expectation - that we will get to our intended destination just as fast as traffic allows, while taking the most direct route possible. But if we've learned anything by now, it's that not everyone is quite so traditional.
As a society, we are all about efficiency; wasted time is never a suitable option, and is even less acceptable when we have expectations from a service that we are paying for. The thing is, not everyone in society has that focus. Some people appreciate the opportunity to stop and smell the roses, and so there is an atypical business that accommodates them.
The Turtle Taxi in Japan isn't just trying a cutesy branding approach with the establishment of their name and logo. They actually offer a service that you'd expect to turn people off, but it is designed to give them an edge in the market. By request, the taxi driver will take passengers for a ride that allows them to stop and smell the roses.
Requesting the specialized turtle service doesn't even have to be an awkward conversation with the driver, since there is a designated button available for pushing. For those that just can't resist pushing a button that is there for that purpose (like there's really any other), there's no way you'll accidentally initiate the slow mode without realizing it. A little turtle image is displayed on the screen, and a chime sounds so passengers are well aware they're getting the VIP namesake treatment.
A ride in one of the Turtle Taxis doesn't guarantee you a trip through the scenic route - that passengers have to specially request that option since that means an increased fare. Drivers will still automatically take one of the better routes, they'll just ensure that the drive a bit slower and more consistently, so it's a stress-free drive that allows passengers to take in the sights.
Turtle Taxi is also focused on operating an eco-friendly business, and tries to educate passengers that switching to turtle mode lessens the environmental toll. The business notes that for all of the above reasons, about 15% of their passengers have embraced this service function.