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Traditional taxi firms’ e-hailing apps struggle to keep up with Grab, Uber

Last update: 12:00 | 17/07/2017

VietNamNet Bridge - To compete with Grab and Uber, traditional taxi firms have begun providing e-hailing services. However, if people want a traditional taxi, they should call the operator rather than use an app.



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Huyen Anh, an office worker in Cau Giay district in Hanoi, said one day, as she could not catch any Grab and Uber on a rainy day, she decided to hail a Thanh Cong taxi. 

Only after talking with the driver did she realize that passengers can also order taxi through an app which has been available for nearly one year.

Later, she learned from Google Play that not only Thanh Cong, but Taxi Group, Mai Linh, The Ky Moi, Sao Thu Do and Vinasun all have apps.

Anh decided to download Thanh Cong’s app and used Thanh Cong’s service for the next trip. To her surprise, the app was easy to use and friendly, while the service was professional.

Nam Khanh in Dong Da district in Hanoi said he often orders Mai Linh taxi via the app. “Uber and Grab offer better prices and discount rates than Mai Linh, but the service quality is the same,” he said.

To compete with Grab and Uber, traditional taxi firms have begun providing e-hailing services. However, if people want a traditional taxi, they should call the operator rather than use an app.

However, Nguyen Truong, a taxi driver at The Ky Moi, admitted that the number of passengers hailing taxi via apps remains modest. 

“Customers still call the operator when they need to use services. We still catch passengers on the way as usual,” he said.

“This may be because taxi firms don’t run advertisement campaigns about the service,” he added.

Hong Nam, a taxi driver at Thanh Cong Taxi, confirmed that there were only 1-2 orders via apps every day. Though Nam and other taxi drivers find it convenient to use the app, people are not interested in it.

Reports show that the number of downloads of e-hailing apps is modest. In Google Play, The Ky Moi’s app has had 500 downloads, while Mai Linh and Thanh Cong have 5,000. The number of downloads of Taxi Group is higher, about 10,000.

Explaining this, Dung in Thu Duc district in HCMC said that it was not easy to change customers’ habits.

“Those who want e-hailing would think of using Grab or Uber services, while those who want traditional taxi would automatically call the operator,” he said.

Do Quoc Binh, chair of the Hanoi Taxi Association, said some taxi firms have developed e-hailing apps, while many others have not.

Asked if e-hailing apps would help improve the business of traditional taxi firms, Binh said apps alone would not be the only tool of competition.


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Mai Chi

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