South Africa has joined the revolution of using technology-driven apps such as Uber & Taxify to get around. “Meter Taxis are too expensive in comparison to Uber or Taxify. There’s always some kind of negotiating which makes each trip uncomfortable. If the meter is running, the driver will not listen to you about the shortest routes, and will intentionally take longer routes to ensure increased fare at the end of the trip” says Chesway Theway.
These smartphone applications use the customer’s smartphone to detect their specific location using the global positioning system (GPS) and instantly connects the customer to the nearest available driver. The Uber & Taxify taxis work in exactly the same manner as traditional metered taxis in that they both take the customer to their intended destination for a metered fee but at a lower cost. According to research findings “the growth of Uber services demonstrates the responsiveness of consumers to lower prices and improved services, and the ability for improved product offerings and prices to create benefits for not only existing but new customers as well” says Shingie Chisoro Dube.
Founder of inDriver, Arsen Tomsky launched the app in Russia in 2013, and it has since expanded to other parts of Eastern Europe, Tanzania and is now available in South Africa. Since its launch, the app is being used by 32-million people across more than 300 cities in 26 countries worldwide. The set-your-own-price taxi app launched in Cape Town and Johannesburg earlier this year and is operating in Durban, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria, with over 1,000 new drivers already registered in each city.
The app allows customers to negotiate fares with metered taxi drivers and helps passengers to distinguish fair fare charges. Nearby drivers who receive notice of ride requests have three choices – accept the fare offered, ignore the offer or bargain for a higher price. “We designed the app to combat algorithms used by other ride-hailing companies, which rack up prices because of peak hours, traffic and request history,” says inDriver spokesperson Rifqa Carr.
To book a trip, riders enter their current location and destination as well as the price they are willing to pay. This will be seen by nearby drivers who can then decide to accept the fare or offer a counterbid. “Passengers using the app pay on average 20-30% less than with other services. We do have a fare minimum, which is region-specific, but the final fare is set by both rider and driver in a real-time negotiation,” The app also benefits drivers, with 0% commission charged for the six to 12 months. says Carr.
Unlike Taxify and Uber, inDriver does not automatically assign drivers to riders. Once the fare is set, passengers select the most suitable driver in line with what categories are most important to them such as affordability, driver rating, estimated time of arrival or vehicle model. Payments for trips are accepted in the form of cash only. Moreover, this wonderful app also has safety precautions for the driver and the passenger. It has a safety button which allows both driver and riders to call emergency numbers from the home screen. Both parties can also share their live GPS locations with friends and trusted contacts at the start of their trip. The inDriver App is part of the top five ridesharing and taxi apps downloaded globally and is available for download on Google Play and the App Store.