New app will ensure safer taxis for commuters – this is how it works

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Three out of four South Africans use minibus taxis. But we all know the safety statistics are bad -- these taxis amount for double the rate of crashes than all other passenger vehicles according to a study done by the Automobile Association of South Africa.

No wonder a group of people who themselves had been subjected to this often dangerous way of travelling came up with an idea for an app to help solve the problem.

Quickloc8, a technology start-up company, was founded by Mbavhalelo Mabogo in 2015 and to date more than 2 000 minibus taxis in the Western and Eastern Cape, and Limpopo have been fitted with Quickloc8’s monitoring technology that enhances the safety of this mode of travel.

The app enables taxi owners to monitor how many people the driver picks up, what their driving patterns are like, which routes – and detours! – they take, and more. If they detect a problem, they can even stop their taxis remotely – in cases such as overloading or reckless driving. This can only be done when the taxi is not moving or at safe speed.

To increase safety for women and children in the taxi industry Quickloc8 also initiated “Project Awuwedwa” where each taxi is branded and fitted with monitoring hardware inside the vehicle that reports cases of commuter harassment or gender-based offences in real time to taxi associations.

In addition to this Quickloc8 also launched a new scholar transporter app to monitor the movement of taxis transporting children, and report in real time to parents, schools and scholar transportation operators.

“We hope to bring integrity back to the taxi industry,” says Mabogo, “and to promote transparency by giving power and control to the taxi owner and the associations.”

For R199.99 a month on a three-year contract and a R699 once-off activation cost, the app allows taxi owners to manage their taxi fleet effortlessly.

Quickloc8, who has eight full-time employees, was awarded the title of most innovative business at the 2018 Western Cape Entrepreneurship Awards in South Africa. Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Mr Bonginkosi “Blade” Nzimande in his annual budget vote speech acknowledged the company for its contribution to improve the taxi industry.

And recently Quicloc8 was a winner in an entrepreneurship competition run by Afrikaans lifestyle channel VIA (DStv channel 147). Six small to medium businesses were each awarded an advertisement and airtime on VIA, as well as advertising space in Media24 magazines and newspapers. The total prize value of this campaign was a whopping R3 million.

Contact information

You can download the Quickloc8 app in the Google Play store.

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