The Mivai taxi app and the digital FLEXX solution for booking traffic may make both the taxi industry and booking traffic more efficient.

As is the case for most public transport services, transport by bus is a rigid affair, where passengers have to wait at a bus stop until the bus comes along. At the other end of the public transport scale, taxis represent the most flexible form of transport. A taxi picks you up where you are and takes you to exactly where you want to go. Somewhere in-between these services, there is also another service known as FLEXX, which picks you up at your door, but must be booked like a taxi. FLEXX forms part of the ordinary public transport service and can be used in some parts of Norway and costs no more than a bus ticket.

Digital solution for booking transport
“The most common way of booking this type of transport was by telephone, but in partnership with Østfold County Council, we developed a technical solution in 2012 for booking traffic, which was named FLEXX. We are now developing this solution further and creating a FLEXX app in collaboration with Finnmark County Council.”

“By using an app, communication between the driver and customer will be better and waiting times will be reduced. Payment will be also made using the app,” explains Magnar Totland, who is a market developer at Go Mobile AS.

Taxi app that tells you the price
Another digital innovation is the Mivai taxi app, which allows taxis to be booked in any municipality in Norway. Mivai provides customers with an estimated price and gives customers the opportunity to find the best quote when booking a taxi.

“We believe that the three factors of price, waiting time and quality are important to customers. In towns and cities where there are several taxi companies, Mivai acts as a marketplace for taxi services, where customers are informed of the waiting time for a taxi, the price they must pay and the rating the taxi company has been given by other passengers,” says Totland.

The fact that the app always knows which vehicle is closest regardless of the company, helps to make the solution extremely environmentally friendly.

Taxis can make more trips
At the same time, taxis are a resource that is used inefficiently. The occupancy rate has fallen by five percent in a year in Oslo, and today taxis spend an average of 70 percent of their time stationary and waiting for customers. During the course of an ordinary 7.5-hour working day, this means only two hours and 15 minutes of actual work. If customers know what the cost will be and the prices are better adapted to the market, this could lead to a significant increase in the number of trips being made.

“Prices in Oslo and other major cities are organised in such a way that it is difficult for customers to find out about them,” says Munawar Nabi, who is managing director for Christiania Taxi.

“The best thing for price-conscious customers is to have an app where all prices can be compared and available taxis can be booked. This means that taxi companies must have the technical potential for independent competitors in the market to create such apps. For now, customers must live with this problem and find the best or cheapest taxi themselves,” says Munawar Nabi.

Challenging Uber
Uber is bringing about the end of the traditional taxi industry. With the Mivai taxi app, the industry will once again be on the offensive. The combination of simple booking and lower and more transparent prices have been a winning formula for Uber. The Mivai taxi app could be the saviour of the industry, as it is a marketplace for taxi trips and has been developed in partnership with several taxi stations.

“We are the first to create a free and independent taxi app for all taxi services,” says Roberth Vestbø, who is CPO of the company behind the Mivai app.

 

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