New taxi app to work with metered taxis to quell violence

10 August 2017 - 17:24 By Suthentira Govender
The feud - which has turned violent and has seen some drivers being attacked - prompted a petition drive to counter attacks against Uber and Taxify drivers last month.
The feud - which has turned violent and has seen some drivers being attacked - prompted a petition drive to counter attacks against Uber and Taxify drivers last month.
Image: Gallo Images/iStock

With violence and threats brewing between metered taxis and cab services like Uber‚ a new taxi-hailing app believes it is possible for the apparent rivals to work together.

The new app‚ Scoop A Cab‚ which is about to hit South African cities and goes live next week‚ is taking a different route to that of its competitors by including metered taxis into its online fold. This comes amid an ongoing conflict between Uber drivers and metered taxi drivers‚ mainly in Gauteng.

The feud - which has turned violent and has seen some drivers being attacked - prompted a petition drive to counter attacks against Uber and Taxify drivers last month.

In June‚ Uber confirmed a brutal attack on a driver in Pretoria‚ who suffered severe injuries after his car was set alight while he was in the car. Another Uber driver became a victim of arson after he was attacked and his car burned to ashes.

Scoop A Cab‚ which will operate in Bloemfontein‚ East London‚ Pietermaritzburg‚ Johannesburg and Pretoria‚ is hoping its decision to include traditional meter taxi drivers on the app will make them feel more included and allow them “to get with the times”.

The app is available for download in the Apple and Android app stores.

“With all the violence and attacks that have been happening in Gauteng and people losing their lives‚ Scoop A Cab made it their responsibility to find a solution that will bring peace and eliminate the meter taxi driver’s understandable frustrations. Scoop A Cab was designed to suit private car owners (sedan cars and hatchbacks) and also traditional meter cabs. Eventually‚ the world will become too advanced that the old way of doing things will not exist anymore. Scoop a Cab is ensuring that traditional meter cab owners are not left out in the cold and basically get with the times‚” said Tendayi Mawoko‚ co-founder‚ developer and operations manager.

Mawoko said while meter taxi driver’s frustrations were “very understandable”‚ their acts of violence were not the “right choice".

“The inception of Scoop A Cab was really designed for traditional meter taxis. We did secure meetings and started conversations of working together with a number of meter cab companies. It was important for us to show them the benefit of this‚ both in the short and long run‚” Mawoko added.

Scoop A Cab rates will be the same as Uber and Taxify‚ Mawoko said‚ “depending on the vehicle type‚ for example‚ for private cars‚ the price is the same".

“For hatchbacks‚ the rate is low. For meter cabs it’s a bit more‚" he said.

The app took a team of engineers and designers about 18 months to develop. And Uber’s reaction to the new app?

“Uber loves competition as it offers more choice to customers‚ improves safety and service‚ and encourages innovation. We love choice‚” said Samantha Allenberg‚ Uber’s spokesperson.

“Our technology is open and non-exclusive and we are keen to offer it to a broad number of taxi drivers to boost their chances for profit. In fact many metered taxi drivers are already using our technology to boost their incomes and we would welcome more who wish to join their colleagues."

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