All taxi systems Ingogo as new app hits Perth
Perth’s taxi dispatch market has a new player, with Sydney-based Ingogo recruiting a fleet of drivers and seeking to compete with Swan Taxis, the dominant local force for many years.
Customers can use the Ingogo application to hail cabs via mobile phone, meaning that, unlike Uber, it relies on existing taxi plate holders for work.
Almost 1,000 drivers have signed on for the service, which can be used to supplement their traditional income through phone dispatch.
Ingogo held its soft-launch in Perth earlier this year after some success in Sydney and Melbourne.
Along the way, it sealed a $12 million crowdfunded capital raising, reportedly the largest in Australia’s history.
The company is now aiming to attract customers, with $10 off the first five fares for new users.
Taxi driver Million Tiku said the industry needed to move forward with technology.
“For me, it’s the best thing,” Mr Tiku told Business News.
“Whatever I make, I get in a day, it’s in the bank the next day.
“Ingogo will (improve the) future for the taxi industry.”
The application would benefit from being able to draw on a large pool of existing drivers, he said.
“The good thing about it is that Ingogo takes every taxi … Black & White, Swan … it doesn’t matter,” Mr Tiku said.
“They all work with the same system.”
He said he could understand why customers had been frustrated with the industry as it had operated, although this dissatisfaction was usually not with the driver but rather the dispatch service, with customers not always getting the closest cab or knowing how far it was from them.
The Ingogo launch comes as the state government prepares to release a much anticipated policy document on the on-demand transport industry, which has received a technological shake-up in the past 18 months.
Earlier this year, Business News revealed Swan Taxis’ plans to introduce its own new mobile application, which allows customers to rate drivers on their services.
That followed the entry of international giant Uber into the market, with the company recruiting more than 1,000 contractor drivers in its first year in Perth.
The Uber application allows drivers to use their own cars for transport services, giving increased flexibility, providing drivers meet relevant security and insurance criteria.
In doing so, the company argues it has expanded the on demand transport pie, as the number of taxi plates in Perth has grown slowly in recent decades.
Ingogo founder Hamish Petrie said the company would have an advantage in the flexibility of its payments system, which includes through the app, cash or a card machine, where it competes with Cabcharge.
Another advantage was that it allowed pre-booking, with penalties for drivers who don’t move to a client in time, and an automatic mechanism to hail a back-up taxi in advance if a driver won’t reach a pre-booked client on time.
Ratings are automatic in the Ingogo app.
Mr Petrie said the application would make it easier for drivers to do their job, and reward good drivers with more work.