Seattle-area taxi drivers attend charm classes

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SEATTLE — Some Seattle-area taxi drivers are trying charm school as a way to improve their customer service and fight off competition from other ride services.

About 130 drivers from Yellow Cab sat in a classroom Tuesday to listen to hospitality management instructors from South Seattle College. The four-hour program focused on connecting with customers, leaving a good impression and productively dealing with complaints.

One of the region’s major cab companies, Yellow Cab, asked the college to design the class in response to competition from app-based ride services companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Cabbie Paul Cheema says he and his fellow drivers want to show customers they’re trying to make a change in the industry.