New app aims to bring all taxi booking services under one platform

MoobiTaxi's developer, Maven Lab, hopes to get operators on board to help make it easier and faster for commuters to get cabs.
MoobiTaxi's developer, Maven Lab, hopes to get operators on board to help make it easier and faster for commuters to get cabs.PHOTO: MOOBITAXI.COM

A new taxi-booking app may soon bring some respite to frustrated commuters who find it difficult to get a cab here.

Called MoobiTaxi, it aims to make it easier and faster for commuters to get their rides by bringing the mobile booking services of all the cab operators under one platform.

Operators like ComfortDelGro, SMRT and Trans-Cab have their own booking services and smartphone apps - services which MoobiTaxi hopes it can consolidate.

The new app, developed by Maven Lab, which helped companies like ComfortDelGro and NTUC with their iPhone apps, also allows commuters to "check-in" their locations.

Nearby cabbies can then use the app, which acts like a radar, to detect the alerts real-time and pick up passengers.

Maven Lab's vice-president of products, Mr Jonathan Pang, said this feature is more effective than hailing a cab on the street.

"It helps to solve the common problem... when some passengers may be waiting in a location not easily seen from the road."

While bigger operators already have an established booking system, Mr Pang said the move will benefit smaller players, like Prime Taxis, which still do not have a mobile booking service.

The latest move comes amid commuter complaints that they are not able to secure cab bookings. The authorities put in place more stringent rules last October, specially to improve services during peak hours.

Among the beefed-up measures, taxi operators must answer more calls and within a shorter time frame.

The largest cab operator ComfortDelGro, which owns 16,600 of the 27,000-plus taxis here, said it already has "a very advanced taxi-booking system", but will consider working with external apps.

Commuter Alvin Lee, who takes a cab to work every day, hopes the MoobiTaxi app will make cab services here more reliable. "On some days, it can take more than half an hour just to book a cab, even though you see empty cabs on the road."

jermync@sph.com.sg