This discussion pops up in many places where people are likely to hail cabs through a hailing app. It is good to hear them praising tech growth, yet absurd to hear the finality with which they dismiss taxis as we have traditionally known them.
Old-school taxis are not going anywhere. In fact, they are almost oblivious to the new-age entrants. Here’s why.
Taxis Work Superbly in a Well-Organised Environment
You see, the cab app business works best where the taxi business has been in chaos. In places where, for instance, taxi drivers used to bubble out the cost of a trip out of the blue, a metered cab solved that problem. In cities where any vehicle could be a taxi, the cab app found a gap to fill. The same goes for areas where taxi drivers were unethical and could not be held accountable.
This does not apply in properly planned cities. Here, taxis have stipulated colours and are clearly labelled. The meter billing system used by cabs? They always had it. Drivers do not have to pay commissions to the app company, meaning only a few of them will join the program. Clients too. They know they can always find a taxi passing by or parked nearby. Why, then, would they want to download an extra app?
The fact that cab app companies have faced complaints about and from their drivers does not improve their case.
A Complementary Industry
This article is not an on-demand-taxi slander. Instead, it is a rebuttal of the case made for the extinction of old-school taxis. They are here to stay.
What every on-demand taxi shareholder (mainly companies and drivers) needs to embrace is that taxi service providers can work in tandem. They can frequent areas that are not served by regular taxis. They can also unionize together to get better licensing conditions and train their crew on how to serve customers better.