New app-based taxi service in Cape Town
A smartphone-based application allowing clients to order a licensed taxi, free of charge, is launching in Cape Town and Johannesburg at the end of January.
Taxify describes itself a "one-stop taxi ordering service" that uses GPS technology to connect users directly to licensed taxis in their vicinity.
Customers can then choose between various options including vehicle type, fare, user feedback and the distance to the pick-up point. The Estonian company says that by providing details of the individual taxis and drivers, the app helps customers to avoid any potentially poor quality or unsafe service.
South Africa is the first African market for Taxify which currently operates in the US, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Since it began promoting its services within the industry in late 2014, Taxify has registered over 250 vehicles on its system in Cape Town and Johannesburg, with plans to double this number by the end of March.
The Taxify launch comes weeks after Cape Town police impounded over 30 cars operating under the controversial taxi hailing mobile app Uber, fining the drivers of the vehicles for operating without a taxi licence. The Uber service has provoked opposition from taxi companies in Cape Town, over claims that it is unfair, illegal, and taking business from regular cabbies.
The Taxify app is available on the App store for IPhone and Google play store for Android users, for further information see website.