Monday, 15 July 2013

App to Hail Taxis

Mr Hadi informs the following on 08/07/2013:

I'm a fan of your blog, and I must say some of the encounters shared do irk me. But I'm not sending you this email to complain/compliment a recent taxi trip, rather, share with you an encounter of mine online, of a local taxi e-hail app; allows one to e-hail a taxi by a simple tap on their phone, check it out here :

What are your thoughts and possibly the visitors' on this?

Seems like an interesting idea and we wish you the best of luck to get this off the ground.


  1. I appreciate his effort but unfortunately this idea is unlikely to work. WhY? Because of the concept of taking calls, cabbies here are too rooted in the idea that going to a specific place to pick up a specific pax = call or booking charge, irrespective or whether they are searching for pax or no. Unless the system he proposes encompasses that I fail to see how it will work. Then again if it does propose some sort of fee, the question begets whether is it legal for the cabby to charge that fee that did not come from legal route - an operator or GPS system enabled pickup.
    Then you have to look at the logistical side of it. A cabby would need to have his phone mounted and be connected to wifi/Net in order for him to notice such a pax. Given that hps are not very large screen wise, he may have to concentrate on it and take his eye off the road. Unless of course he parks 1 side and waits for such pax, but that does defeat the purpose I fell. Ideally you want a cabby to patrol a certain grid in order to find pax rather than stay at 1 place. What happens if that place, has no activity? He loses time and income.
    That said 1 must commend the inventor for trying. Hopefully he can come up with something more operationally suitable and viable that does not infringe any possible law.

  2. Basically from my perspective, what the inventor has thought about is primarily a platform that will allow passengers to find a taxi driver and vice versa, thus I believe not threading on any thin legal line.
    And with these comes the number one question; charge the passenger or the taxi driver? On one hand, taxi fares here don't come cheap and on the other, taxi drivers earn as much as the effort they are willing to put in, in addition to having to bear high rental and diesel costs. I think if this idea were to charge passengers then it would be of no difference to booking ($3.20 and above fee) which is why from a neutral point of view, I personally believe charging a taxi driver is fair, although the amount he stated is very high. Look at it this way; in a way, the app will bring more passengers to the driver, why? because of the convenience it poses to the passenger, hence more will use it. By bringing more passengers to a taxi driver, I believe it is fair to charge them for it (albeit, I repeat, at a lower amount the inventor stated)
    Regarding the logistical side. I have to agree with you, but after all that's being said, with times changing and people constantly moving forward to where more and more people are using a smartphone in their everyday lives, I dont see why such an app wouldnt flourish in Singapore. Keep it up!