Me­ter taxis set to take on Uber

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS -

THE SOUTH African Me­ter Taxi As­so­ci­a­tion, which has been un­happy about grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion from Uber on Thurs­day said it had be­gan regis­ter­ing driv­ers who would use YooKoo Ride, which it de­scribed as a taxi-hail­ing app for smart­phones.

The move in­di­cates a shift from phys­i­cal con­fronta­tions be­tween me­tered taxi driv­ers, who are los­ing mar­ket share, and Uber.

In July an Uber driver died from his in­juries af­ter his car was set alight near Lof­tus Vers­feld Sta­dium.

The taxi as­so­ci­a­tion, which has de­nied any in­volve­ment in the at­tacks on Uber driv­ers, said the driver-reg­is­tra­tion process marked the first stage of the roll-out, which it said would lead to the cre­ation of the largest taxi-hail­ing ser­vice in South Africa.

It is es­ti­mated that more than 180 000 ve­hi­cles would part­ner with YooKoo Ride.

The taxi as­so­ci­a­tion said the taxi-hail­ing mar­ket in South Africa was dom­i­nated by over­seas com­pa­nies which were un­reg­u­lated.

“We have agreed as an as­so­ci­a­tion that we need to em­brace tech­nol­ogy that would make it sim­pler for our cus­tomers to use our ser­vices,” said spokesper­son Reuben Mza­yiya.

In March, the taxi as­so­ci­a­tion and YooKoo Ride an­nounced their part­ner­ship.

They said it would see South African me­ter taxi com­pa­nies us­ing the YooKoo Ride cab hail­ing tech­nol­ogy, which was de­vel­oped lo­cally.

Mza­yiya said taxi com­pa­nies had al­ready been iden­ti­fied for reg­is­tra­tion and they were start­ing to come on line.

The reg­is­tra­tion would in­clude com­pre­hen­sive driver vet­ting and crim­i­nal checks com­plete with fin­ger­print tech­nol­ogy to en­sure op­ti­mum se­cu­rity and ease of mind for cus­tomers.

A com­pre­hen­sive cus­tomer re­la­tions and driver train­ing pro­gramme would fol­low.

“We want to as­sure our cus­tomers that we are com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing the safest and most re­li­able of­fer­ing in the mar­ket,” Mza­yiya said.

“With the ben­e­fit of be­ing part of a large and reg­u­lated as­so­ci­a­tion, we be­lieve that this will be to the cus­tomer’s ad­van­tage. No other ser­vice providers can match our of­fer­ing.”

YooKoo Tech­nolo­gies man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Temes­gen Tes­fay said: “We have been test­ing the soft­ware for the best part of three months and we are con­fi­dent that users will be most im­pressed with its func­tion­al­ity.

“It is also easy to for driv­ers to use, al­low­ing for seam­less com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween pas­sen­ger and driver. We be­lieve that it is just the in­gre­di­ent to as­sist the me­ter cab in­dus­try to play an im­por­tant role in South Africa’s com­muter trans­porta­tion in­dus­try.” – ANA

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