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Taxis line up at the Camp Foster post exchange complex waiting for fares Wednesday. Most Meiho drivers authorized to provide the DAIKO service work the night shift, according to one of the drivers.

Taxis line up at the Camp Foster post exchange complex waiting for fares Wednesday. Most Meiho drivers authorized to provide the DAIKO service work the night shift, according to one of the drivers. (Cindy Fisher / S&S)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Like residents on Okinawa Marine bases, those on Kadena Air Base now have a safer way to get their cars home after drinking: Let someone else drive it.

No matter what day or time, Kadena’s AAFES-contracted cab company now will get you and your car home, said Air Force Master Sgt. Donovan K. Potter, an Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman.

The service is called DAIKO, a Japanese word that translates to “surrogate" or “to do something for someone.”

A request for the service results in two licensed drivers coming to pick up a patron — one to drive the taxi and the other to drive the customer’s car to an on-base residence.

Cab companies off base have offered the service for several years. Potter said there has been a push to get the service on bases. The Marine Corps started its program in midsummer.

AAFES approached the 18th Wing Services about offering DAIKO in July. It was approved in September and service started in October, Potter said.

Because Marine officials already had spent months working the legal, insurance and cost issues, the process went more quickly for Kadena, said Col. Charles Ennis, 18th Mission Support deputy commander.

Still, until more local national drivers receive the necessary approval to operate on Kadena, “you may experience some delay based on demand/time of day,” said base spokesman Johnathan Monroe.

Currently, Camp Foster averages about four requests a day for the service, Potter said. Camp Kinser averages twice the requests of Foster, likely because more Kinser Marines visit downtown Naha, he said.

DAIKO details

How it works

Call any of the taxi services from on or off base.

Request the DAIKO service.

The taxi service will send a cab with two drivers to your location.

One will drive to your residence on or off base; the other follows in your car and parks it in your driveway.

Or:

Flag down an authorized on/off base taxi. Let the driver know you want the DAIKO service. He will call into his company, which then will send a cab with two drivers to your location.

What’s the cost?

From an off-base location: The fee is 1.4 times the price of a single taxi ride from an off-base location. For example if the cost is 1,000 yen, the DAIKO service will cost 1,400 yen.

From an on-base location: A 500-yen charge is added to the single taxi fee.

Taxi service numbers

Camp Kinser: 0120-869-112

MCAS Futenma: 892-0606

Torii Station, Camp Shields and Camp Foster: 946-5005

Kadena Air Base: 946-5477

Camp Lester and Plaza Housing: 090-6862-7003

Camp Courtney and White Beach: 937-2467

Camp Hansen: 090-8292-3785

Camp Schwab: 090-1941-5500

Dial +99 from DSN phone lines.


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