Land Transport Authority (LTA) has just launched its own smartphone app, “[email protected]” to help commuters locate available taxis and broadcast their location to taxi drivers for street pick-ups.
[email protected] does not allow the app user to book a taxi but instead claims to help commuters who wish to hail a taxi on the street by allowing them to see if there are available taxis nearby.
LTA stated that with this information, commuters can better decide whether to continue waiting for a taxi on the street, walk to a location with more available taxis, book a taxi instead, or make alternative transport arrangements.
The app also boasted universal coverage, with the location of all available taxis from the 28,000 taxis registered in Singapore shown via on app. This is in contrast with other third party apps currently in the market, which only show location of taxis which have signed up with them.
The app also enables street hail commuters to broadcast their current locations, allowing taxi drivers to find out where there is a high demand for taxis.
Said LTA’s Group Director for Innovation and Infocomm Technology Mrs Rosina Howe-Teo, “This is part of LTA’s on-going efforts to explore innovative solutions to meet various transport needs. Here, we are translating data gathered from the six taxi companies on the locations of their 28,000 taxis into useful information to better match the demand and supply of taxi services. Commuters who wish to hail a taxi can get a quick sense of the number of available taxis near them, and decide whether it may be better to book a taxi instead. Meanwhile, taxi-drivers can find out where there is high demand for taxis and reduce empty cruising.”
The new [email protected] app is free and is available for download from the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.
Just last month, LTA announced that a basic regulatory framework on third party taxi booking apps will be put in place by the 2nd quarter of 2015.
Third-party taxi booking services must comply with the regulations under the new framework which include specification of all charges payable for the journey and passengers to be allowed to decide whether or not to provde destination information before booking is made.