Blue Bird takes on ride-hailing startups with refreshed app
By Ervina Anggraini May 20, 2016
- Only cash payments for now, more options ‘soon’
- Now available for Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows
BEFORE the emergence of ride-hailing startups like Grab and Uber, Indonesian taxi company Blue Bird – under its parent company Blue Bird Group Holding (PT Pusaka Citra Djokosoetono) – had already been giving its customers the ability to book a taxi through an app.
But the My Blue Bird app, first launched in 2011, was not really a focus of the company back then, admitted PT Blue Bird Tbk director Sigit Priawan Djokosoetono.
That has now changed. “We can’t deny that we have to adopt technology as a key strategy,” he told a press conference announcing the latest version in Jakarta on May 19.
Sigit claimed the new app brings major changes based on what users really need, such as a better user interface (UI), multiple simultaneous orders, fare estimates, and driver tracking and rating.
At a glance, the new My Blue Bird app doesn’t look any different from apps by Grab and Uber, which also offer similar features. But the app also supports GPS trackers that are already in its taxis. Furthermore, customers who hail taxis on the street can also pay for their rides using the app.
Although it currently only supports cash payments, Sigit (pic) claimed that the app will support e-wallet and credit card options “soon.”
To attract more people to use the app, three weeks ago Blue Bird began reducing its fares from Rp7,500 (US$0.50) and Rp4,500 (US$0.34) per km to Rp6,500 (US$0.49) and Rp3,500 (US$0.26) per km.
The latest version is available for the Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows platforms. It can be used to order four types of taxis (regular, van, silver, and silver van) and serves customers in six cities, including Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung Medan, and Bali.
The 44-year-old transportation company also recently announced a partnership with transportation app startup Go-Jek, covering technology support, payment systems, and promotions.
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