TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The U.S-based ride-sharing company Uber announced on Tuesday that it is in collaboration with two Taiwanese taxi-service providers to set up a service that will help Uber return to the local market, after being suspended by the government.
According to Uber, the new app for taxis called uberTAXI, which will involve taxi companies Crown Taxi and Ya Tai Taxi, will officially kick off by mid-October in Taipei. Uber said the service is expected to connect drivers directly with their passengers and reduce taxis' idle time.
In a statement, Uber's Chief Business Officer in the Asia Pacific, Brooks Entwistle said: "Turning on the App for taxis will give drivers greater earning opportunities, while riders will get another option for a safe, affordable and reliable way to get around.”
Uber further explained that GPS-tracking will be featured in their new service so that passengers are allowed to share details of their rides in real time with family and friends. In addition, passengers will need to pay cash for the fare listed by the taximeter and will be asked to provide feedback and rate drivers.
About Ya Tai Taxi, general manager Chen Hsin-chun (陳新鈞) said he considered this partnership with Uber as an economic opportunity to help small taxi companies easily access the technology platform. As a result, he expects taxi drivers will approach more passengers and provide them a safe and high quality ride.
After Uber was suspended in Taiwan for violating the Highway Act by operating an illegal transportation service, this new approach by Uber is seen as a strategy to gain back its business.
In response to Uber's return, MOTC's Department of Railways and Highways specialist Hu Ti-chi (胡迪琦) said the ministry will review the new business model to see if it is legal.