Taxi call centre aims to bring cabs to customers’ doorsteps

Yangon will receive its first Taxi Call Centre in June, aiming to increase convenience for clients and reduce down time for drivers, according to company officials.

The call centre aims to make smarter use of taxis, many of which spend much of their day stuck in Yangon’s traffic jams, pulling in less than K10,000 a day.

“I will help provide jobs to low-earning taxi drivers by helping them find passengers through our call system. There is no need to find passengers on the road.

The drivers can instead wait around for a call,” said U Win Swe, managing director of Phay Phay May May, the company behind the call centre. “Every day we can generate K10,000 in income for them,” he said.

Yangon’s taxi drivers frequently do not own the vehicles they work from, instead paying a standard rental fee for the cabs.

Passengers must call the Taxi Call Centre, which will then assign a nearby taxi to pick them up. It also aims to fix the price on specific routes, and improve on returning items forgotten in cabs to their owners.

The success of the system will depend on having enough cabs on call to meet their customers’ needs. Phay Phay May May is currently looking for cabbies willing to join the company.

U Win Swe said the company aims to launch its call centre with 1500 taxis on the books, promising the potential for higher incomes.

Not all cars will qualify, however, as U Win Swe said his firm is looking for particular types of vehicles. One of the main requirements is that all the vehicles must be fuelled by petrol, rather than Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Although CNG is generally cheaper, it is sold by fewer stations than petrol, meaning the supply is more likely to be disrupted by electricity outages. U Win Swe added that the city’s busses are more appropriate vehicles for running on CNG, and they should have priority for the fuel. Phay Phay May May will keep costs low by maintaining a large pool of vehicles. It will organise insurance on behalf of all its drivers, as well as improve on vehicle repairs in an effort to limit downtime.

Potential users of the service say they like the idea, but it remains to be seen if it will function in practice as it is advertised. “I think it will work, but there will be controversies about the routes,” said Ma Sandi, a resident of Sanchaung township.

Source: Myanmar Times

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