MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. -- Station and Yuma City Cab officials met March 26 at the Yuma City Cab office on East 30th Street to discuss changes within the cab company that will affect the station’s Arrive
Gunnery Sgt. Martin Nelson, station safety manager, and Gunnery Sgt. Bourne Huddleston, Marine Aircraft Group 13 ground safety manager, met with Frank Krukoski, the new Yuma City Cab general manager, who took over in December 2005 and began
undergoing a four-phase customer service improvement program.
The improvements are anticipated to greatly reduce the amount of time service members have to wait for pick-up by the cab company, said Phil Bender, station traffic and off-duty safety program manager.
By reducing wait time, Marines are more likely to use the program, reducing the number who drink and drive.
Also addressed during the meetings was the precedence with which Arrive Alive calls are served, said Bender. Yuma City Cab ranks callers for the Arrive Alive program third in their priority list, behind residents coming from the hospital and those involved with the police department, such as after an accident or passengers involved with a driving under the influence charge.
The Arrive Alive program was created by Station Order 5100.12 to provide anyone with a military or Arrive Alive identification card a dependable mode of transportation from wherever they may be in Yuma back to their home of residence, said Nelson. It is not just a designated driver service.
Think about a spouse who becomes stranded on the road and has no way to get home. If she calls the cab company and shows them her Arrive Alive card or Department of
Defense ID, she will be taken to her residence.
If the spouse is unable to pay the fare, she can then fill out a fare sheet and bill the station. Marine Corps Community Services will pay the bill and work out a payment schedule for reimbursement.
Because the Arrive Alive program deals only with Yuma City Cab, it is important to maintain communication with the company, said Nelson.
Yuma City Cab takes its relationship with the station very seriously, added Krukoski. Cab drivers are expected to always be professional. The entire Yuma City Cab staff is subject to background checks and random urinalysis testing quarterly.
The company has undergone three of its four phases. The first consisted of a cab fleet upgrade for safety inspections and preventative maintenance. The upgrades include a 12-step safety inspection from tire tread depth and tire pressure to possession of an accident and first-aid kit.
The second phase was the implementation of a customer service representative program. Yuma City Cab partnered with a customer service company to hire a staff capable of dealing with the needs of customers.
The third phase, implemented Monday, had a dispatch system with a global positioning system installed into all the cabs. The final phase, occurring Saturday, will increase the number of cabs on the streets to meet the growing demands of the community, said Krukoski.
With an average of 300 to 450 customers a week, these changes will improve pickup and destination arrival times, he added
The Arrive Alive program is a tool for Marines and their families to maintain safety, added Nelson. Huddleston said the station is pushing the program more because it’s a station priority to keep Marines safe.
Nelson requested that Marines have patience when using the Arrive Alive program, especially late at night during the weekends when a lot of people are calling for cabs. He also suggested Marines wait in plain sight for easy pick-up.
This program is designed to help whenever a Marine is in need -- all Marines have to do is pick up the phone and give a ring, said Nelson.