I always use taxi/cab. Aside from the convenience and safety, riding a cab gives me comfort on traveling from business district city to another business district on rush hours and on events I attend. Sometimes, waiting for a cab takes a lot of time. Its tiring and if you’re lucky, you won’t even get a single cab in the next 40minutes. Hows that for my daily routine?
Last month, I was invited to a launch of a revolutionary solution that answered my concern. The Grab Taxi. A GrabTaxi aims to improve taxi markets by introducing simple, cost effective mobile-based technology to both supply (taxi fleet and drivers) and demand (passenger) that will optimize the matching process between both. The vision is to revamp the taxi industry and to provide public transportation mobility for all by developing a sustainable solution for a very real social pain. By combining top talent and disruptive technologies and innovation, GrabTaxi wishes to create a high potential, selfsustainable social enterprise that will help bring Philippines to the forefront of the technological development wave.
To make the story short, it is a mobile taxi booking using internet. (Of course we are here in the world of smartphones and data plans). I know that until now there is this traditional “you-call-taxi-operators” and wait for your taxi to arrive. But this one is really interactive! A way of life!
The following main features that GrabTaxi boasts:
1. Taxi bookings are only blasted out to drivers that are in the passenger’s 3km radius, therefore allowing faster pickups.
2. The taxi booking job is flashed to the driver’s phone with important information such as pick up point, drop off point, and even additional tips from the passenger. He has the option to bid for the job with just a touch of a button.
3. The algorithm for whoever wins the bidding is always the closest interested driver to the passengers, again allowing faster pickups.
4. Once matched, both driver and passenger are given direct contacts to each other for better communication.
5. Passengers are able to see assigned driver’s location and important details such as name, plate number, photo, and phone number postbooking.
6. GrabTaxi collects all relevant data in real-time– a helpful tool for fleet owners and even for both drivers and passengers.
Here’s how it works. First you download GRAB TAXI on your phone, Apple and Android and Blackberry (OS10)
Then register, create an account just like your ordinary online thing.
After downloading, you can now start booking your taxi! There is a “to” and “From” where you can place your location and your destination.
You can also check how many taxis are around you or nearby.
Then once you selected “book now” the taxi within your parameters will receive notifications of your booking. And on their respective phone (Yes, this is hi-tech world) they will assess if they can fetch you by their locations)
Once the driver bids, your app will show that there’s an available driver/taxi for you. Then call the driver so you can talk to him personally. See? Instead of going to third party operators, you can talk to your driver that way! Drivers also registered on the GRAB TAXI apps and you will see their photos long before they arrive on your location.
Publicly launched in June 2012, MyTeksi has now several thousand taxis making lives easier forpassengers of Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, and Seremban; but Anthony Tan’s vision does not stop here as he plans to revolutionize the taxi industry not just in Malaysia. 2013 is the year of regional expansion with Philippines and to all of ASEAN with the branding of MyTeksi to a much stronger brand name – GrabTaxi.
The Philippine society sees the taxi industry as corrupt because of how fragmented taxis are. Passengers get confused as to which taxi operator to rely on and which phone number to call for taxi bookings, and therefore solidifying the lack of trust that is already prominent.
There is, of course, the alarming safety issue that everyone hears about in news and tabloids about theft and robbery, and even worse, rape. Grab Taxi will help eradicate this impression and is the new answer to commuter’s dilemma.
I can attest that this is really working. In fact, here are the courteous drivers I booked for the past few weeks and I would say I highly recommend this app. Hope to ride with them again!