Cabbie goes extra mile to help riders
(09.06.2011)

Bian Jun sits in his taxi, which is equipped with various useful items and gadgets to help customers.

A local cabbie is offering something in his limited car space you don’t expect to see in taxis — daily goodies to passengers in need.

Bian Jun, 44, in April became the first taxi driver in Shanghai to provide free breakfast, such as bread and water, to passengers. Now he seems to be in expansion mode. Pencils, paper, maps and gum can be seen in a bag hanging on the back of the seat – all for free.

Bian said there are at least 20 different products he offers for daily use in his cab. He says he spends up to 400 yuan (US$62.63) on the giveaways each month.

“Good service will win more passengers,” Bian simply said. “Some will take as they like while others will decline.”

The snacks and water are usually stored at the back of the cab, said Bian, who has driven a cab in the city for seven years. The driver once worried that the cost would be too high but said it’s worth it for the approval he gets.

Bian said many passengers would call him again and even ask him to carry foreign visitors.

“English music, Lady Gaga, OK?” Bian, with a big smile, said in English when playing music in the cab with foreigners onboard.

Bian said he would add items with the seasonal change. With autumn and winter coming, he will put some mints and carry-on warmers in the taxi.

Once a farmer in suburban Shanghai, Bian takes care of the cab like he used to cultivate the land.

Apart from the daily use, Bian’s cab even offers medical products and, on rare occasions, care.

Once an office worker suffered a slight cut on the hand before entering the cab, Bian put some drops of iodine on it and gave the passenger a band-aid.

A passenger left a thank-you note, saying “It’s great that Shanghai has such cabbie.”