Monday, 29 July 2013 16:56

goCatch goPoints rewards taxi drivers for short trips


One of the problems facing taxi drivers and passengers is the short trip. Taxi app developer goCatch thinks it has a solution.

Taxi drivers generally dislike short fares. That's understandable with slow-moving ranks - especially at airports, where waiting times of an hour or more aren't unusual - as they would much rather see a better return for the time they've spent in the queue.

There's been considerable recent interest in smartphone apps that connect would-be passengers with available drivers. One example is goCatch, which has now come up with a scheme to encourage drivers to take short fares.

The idea is that drivers earn goPoints each time they pick up a passenger, and the shorter the trip the more points they get. They also get points for accepting payment via the goCatch app (available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7).

By accruing goPoints, drivers can work their way up to bronze, silver, then gold and eventually platinum status. High status drivers get the first chance to bid on the best jobs.

"When a big job comes through, platinum drivers can access it first, followed by gold, silver, bronze and unranked drivers," said goCatch founder and CEO Andrew Campbell.
"It's our way of rewarding drivers who accept the unpopular, shorter jobs."

And it seems to be working: "Since launching goPoints, we have noticed a spike in the number of short fares being collected by drivers," Campbell said, adding that passenger collection rates had also increased.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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