Ride-hailing app Taxi Live Africa begins expansion

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Locally-developed on-demand e-hailing app Taxi Live Africa has expanded to Pretoria and Johannesburg, after seeing substantial growth in KwaZulu-Natal over the last 12 months.

First launched in Durban in June 2019 by entrepreneur Luvuyo Ntshayi and business partner Soyiso Qotyiwe, Taxi Live Africa says it has signed up more than more 3 000 drivers and gained over 10 000 commuters in the city and surrounding areas.

The company, which is endorsed by the Durban Central Taxi Association, says its app was designed to bring the ride-hailing business model to metered taxi drivers − who had been excluded from existing e-hailing apps − allowing them to successfully compete with other e-hailing companies such as Uber, Bolt and InDriver.

After launching in Gauteng’s competitive market last week, the app has already signed up more than 700 drivers in Johannesburg alone, and established an office in Parktown.

A15% commission fee is deducted from each trip made by drivers, with an opportunity offered for drivers to buy and own shares in the company, and riders pay R7/km.

Uber takes a 25% commission from drivers’ in-takings, while riders pay R8/km. Bolt charges a commission of 20%, while riders pay between R5.50 and R7, depending on the city.

Taxi Live Africa says it has been engaging with metered and mini-bus taxi associations to build a solid relationship with their members in Gauteng and other provinces.

“Over the past 12 months, we have seen a substantial growth of riders downloading the app and we’re confident we are going to do well in Gauteng too,” notesNtshayi.

“Drivers and passengers have been calling for a proudly South African e-hailing service provider that can successfully compete with international apps, while enabling all forms of cab drivers to join the service.”

The self-funded company will soon expand to Cape Town, East London and Port Elizabeth, with the objective to scale and attract as many drivers and riders as possible nation-wide, notes Ntshayi.

The app offers three categories of vehicles to choose from: a sedan/hatchback, a luxury vehicle option or a seven- to nine-seater classic vehicle. There arethree payment options: cash, e-wallet or card payment.

The Taxi Live Africa app, which is available from both the Android and iOS app stores, has the basic features found in an e-hailing app, plus a multiple requests feature.

As with Uber and Bolt, Taxi Live Africa enables taxi operators with either a fleet of vehicles or a single vehicle to join, and an option to employ a driver.

While partner drivers operate as independent contractors,Ntshayi says, in the same way as permanent employees, partner drivers and owners get a number of benefits, including a free R10 000 funeral plan, a50% contribution to the driver’s car accident insurance excess, and the company recognises the e-hailing driver’s representative committee members both at operational and decision-making level.

“By offering drivers and operators the opportunity to be shareholders, we afford them the platform to be at decision-making level, while building their business and providing an affordable service for passengers,” addsNtshayi.

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