Taxi hailing app for PMB

2017-11-09 14:00
Marketing officer Katlego Kgaile (left) and Rogerant Tshibangu, who is one of the brains behind the new taxi hailing app to be launched in Pietermaritzburg.

Marketing officer Katlego Kgaile (left) and Rogerant Tshibangu, who is one of the brains behind the new taxi hailing app to be launched in Pietermaritzburg. (Nompilo Kunene)

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A new taxi hailing service, Tag Your Ride, is to be launched in Pietermaritzburg with the hope of making the lives of locals much easier.

One of the brains behind the mobile application, Rogerant Tshibangu, told The Witness the idea to create this taxi hailing app came after he had a bad experience with a similar app that left him “angry and frustrated”.

Tshibangu, a university graduate and now an academic development officer at UKZN, said he’d used an app in Durban last year to request a taxi to go home.

Because it was raining and at night, the company charged him R400 instead of the R50 they usually charged him for his three-kilometre ride home.

“I was so angry and failed to understand why they had increased their price. They knew I had no other option than them. I was p***ed and decided to do something to avoid someone being caught in a similar situation,” he said.

Tshibangu was also frustrated that there were no taxi hailing services in Pietermaritzburg. “I saw what the other companies were doing and decided to do something similar but without exploiting the customers.

“I had the skills and qualifications to do this and called up some of my former UKZN classmates. They were eager to come on board to use technology and the education we’d acquired to come up with something that would make people’s lives simpler.”

Tshibangu and four friends started working on the project in January.

Starting next week, the public can download the Tag Your Ride app and request a taxi.

In the meantime, Tag Your Ride is in the process of recruiting and training local taxi drivers.

“We see taxi drivers parked at the side of the roads hailing customers,” Tshibangu said. “We have easy access to customers but we need the drivers with their cars. So we want to build a working relationship with the drivers to afford our customers safe and reliable means of transportation.”

Tag Your Ride marketing officer Katlego Kgaile added that the public transportation industry was very competitive and those in the industry should understand that they were not trying to take them out of business, but rather they wanted to help struggling taxi drivers.

“I recently approached a couple of taxi drivers and they were extremely excited about our proposal and were keen on partnering with us,” Kgaile said.

Tshibangu explained that Tag Your Ride has standard pricing for the rides stipulated on their app to prevent overcharging people.

They also do all the necessary background checks and check that drivers have a valid South African Professional Driving Permit.

“We also have an SOS panic button on the app for the driver and passenger in case of an emergency.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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