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