Emergency Taxi recently launched in South Africa and plans to take on Uber and Taxify through a partnership with traditional meter taxis.
Prince Pirikisi, who is behind Emergency Taxi, said he started the service due to the fights between metered taxis, and Uber and Taxify.
“Having discovered the grievances of the metered taxis, I decided to develop an application for them so that there is no more fighting,” he said in 2017.
“I discovered that this was bigger than just the problem of the territorial fights. This could be an opportunity to create employment and empower youths.”
Pirikisi told the City Press that Emergency Taxi offers traditional metered taxis an app-based service, but also has a call-centre service for customers who are not tech-savvy.
To make the app more attractive to metered taxi operators, it offers a 3% annual retainer for drivers, provident fund benefits, and rent-to-buy options for drivers after 6-months of working.
The company also promises partners discounted data contracts, free app training, a panic button with rapid response, and the option to make more money with vehicle branding.
The Meter Taxi Council will also get a share of the profits of the Emergency Taxi service.
Pirikisi said Emergency Taxi already has over 150 cars registered in Gauteng, and currently employs 15 people.
Emergency Taxi development
The City Press reported that Pirikisi developed the application in 2016, but only launched it two months ago after lengthy negotiations with the Meter Taxi Council.
Pirikisi also launched an Indiegogo campaign for Emergency Taxi in December 2017, trying to raise $50,000 for the project, but failed to receive any money.
According to the Emergency Taxi listing on the Google Play store, the app is based on the Swedish TaxiCaller.
TaxiCaller is a taxi dispatch system which provides software to hundreds of taxi, limo, private hire, and car service companies.
“With our software, taxi owners and drivers can provide multiple booking channels for their customers, like online booking and e-hailing,” states TaxiCaller.
Emergency Taxi currently only has an Android app, but Pirikisi said an iOS app will be launched soon.