Should Taxi Unions Build an App to Beat UBER?

Taxi UnionsA few months ago I came across an article in the newspaper whereby the traditional taxi companies are ganging up together to get rid of Uber, so that their businesses can survive. Overnight Uber had become a threat to these drivers whose livelihood is taxis. After many such rallies and meeting, they decided to come up with an alternative, their very own taxi app like Uber, backed by the taxi union.

WHY IS UBER A THREAT TO THESE TAXI COMPANIES

Uber has become an overnight success and a threat to the traditional cabbies because it is using a technology that no other taxi service was using. Uber came up with an on-demand concept by which anyone who wants to go anywhere can do so in the comforts of their home and from their smartphone. Users can search for rides in the vicinity, select the car they want to ride in according to their budget, and away they go. The beauty of this concept is that they can actually track their ride as it makes its way towards the pickup point. Riders can, therefore,  know the exact location of their taxi in real time and know how long it will take to reach the pickup point.

TRADITIONAL VERSUS SMART

Let’s look at the marked differences between Uber and the traditional taxi service.

  1. On demand taxi can be hailed using a smartphone, while traditional taxis are hailed on the roadside, by phone or going to a local cabbie office.
  2. Uber taxis can be located using the real-time tracking system whilst traditional taxis cannot be tracked and there is no assurance that the taxi will arrive on time.
  3. Drivers who use apps for getting rides have an inbuilt navigation system thus helping them to travel faster and easier by receiving prior notification of road works, traffic jams, accidents etc. This helps them to take the easiest and cost effective route to get to the pickup and drop off point. A traditional taxi driver has to look up where he wants to go, maybe ask around on how to get to his destination, he has no clue about which would be the best route to take as he has no prior notification of where the road works, accidents or congestion is, thus slowing down the journey considerably.
  4. Rating and review facilities for both passengers and drivers who use apps, whilst this is absent from the traditional taxis.
  5. Apps have an integrated payment system whereby payment can be deducted automatically from the rider’s payment card. This facility is visibly absent in the traditional taxis and drivers are sometimes short-changed as riders may not pay them the full fare, or bargain over the rates. Riders, on the other hand, are also saved the embarrassment of asking the driver to “stop at the nearest hole in the wall”

These are just a few of the main differences that have drawn a visible line between an app-based taxi service and the traditional one.

TAXIS UNIONS AND FIRMS TO GET AN APP

Rather than building a taxi app like Uber from scratch, these unions and firms should look to investing in a readymade app, which is not only cost effective but as good as Uber. These apps have been designed such that they can be branded according to the owner’s requirement. It can also be launched anywhere in the world in the language and currency of the area.

There are companies who also offer free after sales support round the clock, and will give you the best for your business. So taxi firms, way to go. Time to get your own uber app clone to beat the original at their own game.

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