Guernsey Press

App makes a big difference say taxi drivers

TAXI drivers have given the new Guernsey Taxi App the green light ahead of the NatWest Island Games, praised for its ease of use and convenience.

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Ian Vaudin, of Donkey Taxis Ltd, signed up to the taxi app last week and was full of praise, saying he had picked up two jobs through it at the weekend. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 32272404)

The app, which is available on Apple and android app stores, allows users to request a taxi in real time. So far there are 64 drivers using the app.

Ian Vaudin, of Donkey Taxis Ltd, signed up last week, and thought it was a great idea.

‘I think it has the potential to be a really great tool,’ he said.

‘The best example of it working for me was this weekend, where I got two jobs from passengers who had just arrived at the airport as I happened to be driving nearby. The timing couldn’t have been better.’

From January, it will be mandatory for taxi operators to sign up to a booking app when their licences are renewed.

Mr Vaudin said that further discussions about this would take place among Guernsey Taxi Drivers Association members.

‘We will have to give the app some time and see how it pans out. The subscription fee will be about £13 per month, I think, once Environment & Infrastructure stop funding it, but I think the amount will depend on how popular the app becomes.’

Gary Reynolds, of Gareth’s Taxis Guernsey, was glad that the island was embracing modern technology.

‘There are lots of benefits. For example, if I’m fully booked, but have a slot become free suddenly, then I can just go on the app and see if there is anyone nearby who needs a taxi.

‘Anything that provides us with more business I’m in favour of. I wish the app every success, I hope it will be easier for people to use instead of calling loads of phone lines.’

Russell Lewis, of Taxi4U Guernsey, said that the app would benefit the customer as much as drivers.

‘I had a customer last week who was visiting the island, and they said that they always look for taxi apps as soon as they arrive in a new place as it’s convenient,’ he said.

‘I’ve also had it where I’ve been nearby to someone using the app to request a taxi and have been able to be with them in three or four minutes.’

He was pleased that the app was up and running in time for the Island Games.

‘Ideally it would have been good to have had it two months ago, but most of us are up to speed with it. It’ll help us meet the extra workload for the Games.’

One taxi driver, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was against the app’s launch, and did not think it would work.

‘For it to work, 30 or 40 cars would have to be clear at any given time, but there just aren’t enough free as we are all so busy, especially during the summer.’

He added that he would have preferred mandatory telephone links to be introduced instead.

‘If we had say five links that callers could go through, instead of hundreds, that would have worked better for the public in my view, but the app is here now so we will see how it pans out.’