MyTeksi launches as GrabTaxi in Bangkok and Singapore
By Digital News Asia October 21, 2013
- One GrabTaxi cab is booked every five seconds in Malaysia and Philippines
- Company hopes app will address several challenges in Bangkok taxi landscape
MALAYSIAN-based MyTeksi has launched its taxi-booking app as GrabTaxi in Bangkok and Singapore, following an earlier beta launch in Manila; the company has also changed its name to GrabTaxi to reflect its regional play.
The app enables passengers to book a taxi in just two taps, GrabTaxi said in a statement. Upon turning on the app, the smartphone’s built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) automatically detects a passenger's current location.
First, the passenger must select his or her desired destination, and the app will locate the nearest taxis and provide an estimated fare. Finally, after one last tap to complete the booking, the passenger will receive a confirmation within one minute; along with the taxi driver’s picture, phone number, taxi plate number, estimated time of arrival and tracked location on a map.
To ensure safety, passengers can even share the complete details and tracking of their ride to close family and friends.
“The main reason for starting GrabTaxi in Malaysia was to fix our broken taxi industry,” said its group chief executive officer Anthony Tan.
“GrabTaxi is built on three pillars that will change the way people commute – safety, speed, and certainty. We are happy to be able to extend this now to [Bangkok and Singapore] commuters,” he added.
Tan said that since the app rolled out, one GrabTaxi cab is booked every five seconds in Malaysia and the Philippines. The app itself has enjoyed 400,000 downloads, GrabTaxi said in a statement.
In Malaysia, the app is still known as MyTeksi and is available for Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Johor and Malacca.
It is the only taxi booking app in Singapore that connects the commuter directly to the taxi driver’s personal smartphone. Commuters can also include their destination when booking a taxi, thus increasing the likelihood of a successful booking.
Taxi drivers would be more inclined to accept booking offers if the destination is along their desired route, GrabTaxi said. This is especially important during shift change periods when booking taxis is difficult unless the destination is nearby or on the way for the taxi driver.
For the duration of the Singapore beta launch from now until Nov 17, beta testers stand a chance to win an iPhone 5s just by using the GrabTaxi mobile app to make a booking. For every successful booking, the user will be entered into the draw 10 times, with unsuccessful bookings still resulting in a single entry.
Users will be notified via email that they have been entered into the draw. More information is available on the GrabTaxi Singapore Facebook page.
In Bangkok, there are several challenges in the taxi market, GrabTaxi said in its statement. Passengers are often inconvenienced when drivers refuse to accept rides during rush hour traffic, heavy rain, taxi shift changes and major events.
At other times, some drivers refuse to turn on the meter and passengers must haggle over their fare.
Drivers, on the other hand, struggle to earn a decent living because they waste time and fuel from driving around and looking for passengers.
There are also alarming safety issues – violent incidences and robberies – that make passengers, and even drivers, think twice about taking a taxi or accepting a ride.
“With the introduction of GrabTaxi, passengers will feel more safe and confident taking a taxi, while taxi drivers and operators save costs and earn more,” said Juthasree Kuvinichkul, director of GrabTaxi Thailand.
GrabTaxi is available on the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone platforms for free. In Bangkok, a 25-baht booking fee surcharge applies on top of the normal metered fare, which is only turned on once a passenger is inside the taxi.
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