By JO TIMBUONG
KUALA LUMPUR: More taxi drivers in the Klang Valley are turning to the Android mobile taxi booking and reviewing app, called TaxiMonger, which they view as an an extra pipeline to customers.
The taxi drivers crowded the venue of an open day, that was organised by the developers of the app to explain how it works. Some were seen getting more information while others were already signing up for the service.
One cabbie, who only wanted to be identified as Lotfi, said TaxiMonger makes it easier for the drivers to receive customer bookings, compared to the radio system currently being used in the country.
"You can't bring the radio with you when you leave your taxi for a break. With this app, I will never miss an opportunity, unlike when a radio call comes while I'm away having a coffee," said the 41-year-old who has been driving a taxi for eight years.
Another taxi driver John Vis, 42, said the app helps drivers manage their customers and time more effectively.
"With the current system, several taxi drivers will rush to one customer, and this sometimes leads to an argument," he said.
John also likes the open-platform nature of TaxiMonger, which enables drivers from any taxi company to use the app.
Mat Ujang, 51, also a cabbie, likes that the app is integrated with another, the mobile personal security app called SecQ.Me (pronounced "secure me").
"This will enable passengers to feel safer during their journey in our taxis. I'd feel more relaxed too," he said.
SecQ.Me sends out an SMS at the push of a smartphone key to a designated party should an emergency crop up. The message will contain the user's location and any video or photo snapped via the phone at that time.
Mat said he will rake in more earnings with the app because telco Celcom Bhd, which has partnered with TaxiMonger's developers, is paying RM1.50 extra for every customer that the taxi driver gets via the app.
Lotfi suggested that the reward would better serve the drivers if the money is converted into a rebate on their smartphone bills. "This savings will encourage more drivers to use TaxiMonger," he said.
During the open day, promotional data-plans and Android-based smartphones at special prices, were offered to the taxi drivers who signed up for the service.
The target is to get at least 5,000 taxi drivers using the service by year end.
Land Public Transport Commission chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar officiated at the open day.