MOTC hopes to roll out ‘high-end’ taxis by the end of this year: min­is­ter

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions ( MOTC,

) said Wed­nes­day that it hopes to roll out a pi­lot pro­gram of “high­end” taxi­cabs by year’s end.

The pro­gram is seen as a di­rect com­peti­tor to Uber, a San Fran­cisco-based taxi app that of­fers rides in lux­ury sedans. Cur­rently, the com­pany pro­vides ser­vices in Tai­wan with­out a li­cense as a trans­porta­tion ser­vice provider.

Chen Chien-yu ( ), min­is­ter of the MOTC, said Wed­nes­day that the “high-end” fleet will pro­vide its first ser­vices in Taipei City and New Taipei City.

The MOTC will se­lect two or three taxi teams to par­tic­i­pate in the pi­lot, which is slated to start oper­a­tions by year’s end, Chen said. Uber replied that it would like to see the gov­ern­ment es­tab­lish a taxi clas­si­fi­ca­tion sys­tem, as it would pro­mote high-qual­ity trans­port ser­vices.

Tai­wan Cab­bies, Cus­tomers

Keen

Ac­cord­ing to an MOTC public opin­ion poll, 87 per­cent of taxis­er­vice cus­tomers are in fa­vor of a “high-end” pro­gram and will­ing to pay fares of be­tween 10 and 20 per­cent above the stan­dard.

Among the cab driv­ers polled, 67 per­cent ex­pressed fa­vor for the pro­gram and another 54 per­cent said they are in­ter­ested in join­ing the “high-end” fleet.

Mar­ket­ing man­ager Huang Weih­sien ( ) of Tai­wan Taxi (

), a 6,000-cab team that op­er­ates na­tion­wide, said he is in fa­vor of dif­fer­en­ti­ated ser­vices.

Tai­wan Taxi will ac­tively seek to join the first “high-end” fleet, he said.

Luo Shiaw-shyan ( ) of Tamkang Univer­sity’s Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion Man­age­ment said that to­day’s cus­tomer pays the same fare re­gard­less of taxi-ser­vice qual­ity, which leads to com­plaints.

He said a sys­tem that dif­fer­en­ti­ates be­tween ser­vices would al­low higher- end providers to charge more for bet­ter ser­vice, there­fore ex­pand­ing the mar­ket for taxi driv­ers.

“But is ‘high-end’ de­fined as a bet­ter car?” Luo said.

The trans­port min­is­ter said that the new fleet will dif­fer­en­ti­ate it­self through ex­act­ing stan­dards on ser­vice qual­ity and driver safety, as well as the in­te­gra­tion of smart tech­nol­ogy.

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