Taxi call centre to choose phones over radio

The crackling of the VHF radio is a frequent soundtrack to a taxi ride in many international cities, but will be absent when Yangon’s first taxi call centre launches.

The centre, to be run by Phay Pyay May May Company, will instead rely on Ooredoo and Telenor for communications, said company managing director U Wathan Htun.

The firm had initially hoped to launch the service already, but the start has been delayed. U Wanthan Htun said he now targets the end of August for having the service up and running.

Passengers will be able to order a taxi by calling a central number. Routes will have defined fees, meaning there will be no haggling to order a ride.

U Wanthan Htun claims the system will also reduce the need of taxis to cruise around or sit on street corners in busier areas to find passengers, helping to alleviate traffic jams and reduce petrol use.

The taxis will not be the property of the company, but rather run by individual drivers. About 600 taxi drivers have so far signalled interest, he said.

“We will use a method of keeping track that stabilises taxi fees,” he said. “With our service it will also be much easier to track items left in the taxi.”

U Wanthan Htun said official figures show about 50,000 taxis on the road in Yangon, though he reckons it is closer to 70,000. Together, they cart around an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 passengers a day, he said.

“Some taxi drivers are clever at finding new passengers, and some are not clever,” he said. “We will help find passengers for those drivers.”

Source: Myanmar Times

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