Meter taxis set to take on Uber
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