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Taxi eBooking firm to tap Cebu’s growing market

By: Aileen Garcia-Yap September 10,2014 - 06:53 AM

A Brazilian company offering taxi-booking applications is expanding in Cebu.

They opened operations in Manila last year and are now are planning to expand here in Cebu which is the second fastest growing economy in the country, said Daniel Torres, Easy Taxi chief executive officer in an interview last week.

“We see a lot of tech savvy people here already, and that is growing fast which makes it easier for us to introduce our services,” Torres said.

With Easy Taxi, one simply downloads an application through Play Store for Android devices and App Store in iOS devices.

The application then allows you to contact taxicabs online to pick you up in your location.

“For now we are having a promo here in Cebu where we don’t charge the add-on fee for using the app. In Manila, we charge a P70 service fee. Here, we charged P20 before the promo,” he said.

Easy Taxi started in Brazil in 2011. At present, there are already over two million downloads for the application worldwide.

Torres said they see a strong demand for this kind of service in the Philippines, despite the existence of similar locally-developed apps, saying they have already established a stable and already trusted operations system.

“Since 2011, we have been growing our reach. Now we are in 32 countries and we have been learning so many things along the way. In some areas, there are differences, and we somehow manage to adjust and implement a system,” he said.

Torres said they usually partner with taxi operators who have a large fleet of reliable units and well-mannered taxi drivers.

“We talk to the operators who then would suggest to us drivers who they think can participate. We choose them well and train them. We also give them incentives to encourage them,” he said.

Aside from giving taxi drivers better incentives, the company is also focused on educating the drivers on world-class customer service especially on safety.

He said these are very important points for the drivers as they usually operate in places which are also well visited by tourists like Cebu.

Torres said that their operations here in Cebu can contribute to ensuring that taxi drivers become advocates of tourism or “tour guides” themselves who make the tourists feel safe.

Also considered a “startup” business which is already profiting, the company is funded by Rocket Internet which is among the largest incubator in the world assisting promising startups like Easy Taxi and other e-commerce companies in the country today like Lazada and Zalora.

“We have also partnered with Smart Mobile here in the Philippines,” he said.

Torres said that they have not set any plans yet as to where they will be expanding next after Cebu.

“Definitely in areas with high population concentrations and good Internet penetration. No definite place as of now though because we want to grow our presence in Cebu first,” he said.

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TAGS: app, smartphone, taxi

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