SINGAPORE- Within two days of introducing its own taxi app, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been criticised for coming up with an app that does not help commuters to book a cab.
The new app, Taxi-Taxi@SG, has spawned Twitter hashtags such as #uselesstaxiapp and #RenameTaxiAppByLTA.
Unlike other taxi apps on the market, Taxi-Taxi@SG does not allow users to book a cab. It shows the location of all available taxis from Singapore's entire fleet of 28,000, and helps commuters find out whether there are any available taxis in their vicinity.
The free smartphone app also enables commuters to broadcast their locations, thus alerting taxi drivers to areas of high demand. Hired or busy taxis will not be captured on the app.
Commuters question the usefulness of an app telling them the location of cabs instead of letting them book one.
In response to criticism that started soon after announcement of the new app on Wednesday(dec17), the LTA said that it is unfair to compare Taxi-Taxi@SG with the other apps which are essentially booking apps.
"It is not comparing apples to apples," a spokesman told The Straits Times, adding that its app is useful to commuters who do not wish to pay more to book a cab.
However, she said that enhancements are in the works. "We may provide links to booking apps in the future."
The new app can be downloaded from the iTunes app store and Google Play.
Reviews on Google Play and comments on Facebook showed that some commuters find the app useful as it helped them to determine if there are cabs available and whether they should book a taxi. Others said that they liked the interface of the app. Some commented that they simply liked knowing where the cabs are "hiding".
A Straits Times online poll found that GrabTaxi is the most popular app among readers.
You can take the poll here:
Here is what people are saying about the new LTA app.