Easy Taxi ‘fully operational’ in Cebu

EASY TAXI. Leading the launch of Easy Taxi in Cebu are (from right) Easy Taxi Philippines CEO Daniel Torres, Ayala Center Cebu deputy general manager Celeste Bernardine Dy and LTFRB 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon. (SUN.STAR FOTO/ARNI ACLAO)

DESPITE other available mobile taxi booking services, those behind the operations of Easy Taxi hope to be different by paying attention to a passenger’s experience.

Easy Taxi, which is funded by German startup incubator and venture capital investment firm Rocket Internet, announced Friday that it became fully operational in Metro Cebu, partnering with several taxicab operators to offer their services.

Aside from that, Easy Taxi Cebu City manager Kristoffer Montebon said they want to serve Cebuanos the best way they can and extending the service to malls is one of the ways they are making the service available.

Easy Taxi has signed an agreement with Ayala Center Cebu allowing the mall’s customers to book a taxi at the concierge booth of the mall. They plan to make similar arrangements with Parkmall, Banilad Town Center and Robinson’s Cybergate.

Biggest worldwide

Montebon said they can claim to be the world’s largest taxi booking app as they are operational in four continents, 33 countries, 162 cities, over 10 million users and 185,000 drivers registered.

A user books a cab using Easy Taxi’s mobile app by confirming their location and adding details. Once a request is confirmed, a user just waits for the app to send a confirmation that includes the details of the cab, driver and its current location.

He said Easy Taxi connects drivers with passengers to ensure a safe ride. To assure users of their safety, Montebon said they follow a strict screening process before accepting drivers. These include a minimum number of years with an operator, English proficiency, overall appearance and understanding of how the mobile app works. Each driver gets a smartphone, SIM card, stickers for the taxicab and a manual.

“They now have access to technology that they did not have before,” he said.

The app allows the user to track the driver’s progress and share all the details of the trip to their contacts.

Easy Taxi has partnered with operators VNM, Sun Taxi, Michaela, Mike Angelo, Green Planet, Sarefen, 6Sense, Juscar, Catz, Worldwide, Emersons and Airland.

To promote the use of the app, the booking fee of P20 is waived until Oct. 4. Although the booking fee cannot be reflected in the printed receipt of the taxicabs, Easy Taxi Philippines CEO Daniel Torres said the app has a feature that emails the user all the information, including the payment, which he said can used as be proof of payment if it is needed.

Torres believes they have the biggest fleet so far and that they work hard to build a relationship with their operators.

He admitted that their app uses similar technology and processes with other taxi booking apps.

Customer experience

“It all comes down to the customer experience. In our entire operation, we make sure to have a close relationship with our drivers, make sure our drivers are happy with the service and reward them for good conduct,” he said.

Easy Taxi also has a partnership with Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app so that drivers and passengers alike can plot their course. The trip can also be monitored by a passenger’s contacts. Both Waze and Easy Taxi announced a partnership to promote safe driving in the country.

Safety for female passengers is what has Land Transportation Franchise Regulatory Board 7 Director Ahmed Cuizon supporting Easy Taxi, who said the safety of female passengers riding alone in taxicabs has been one of their advocacies.

Michael Lee, operator of the Sun Taxi fleet, said the drivers find the app especially useful during lean hours because they won’t have to drive around the city in search of passengers. He admitted though that during heavy rains, they have trouble accepting bookings because they do not want to risk getting caught in flooded streets.

Torres said they are working on other features for the app, such as a fare estimate and cashless payment options. MEA
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