Home Technology Local start-up is tackling the problem of overcrowding and reckless driving in our taxi industry.

Local start-up is tackling the problem of overcrowding and reckless driving in our taxi industry.

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Using public transport in South Africa can be a bit of a chaotic adventure at times. Yes, we have seen many improvements with the likes of the Gautrain in Johannesburg or the MyCiti bus system in Cape Town, but the majority of public transport in South Africa just generally doesn’t quite work out as smoothly as we’d like. If it’s not the massively delayed or non-existent train and bus services that leave you frustrated in your daily commute, it’s needing to catch a taxi that is often over-crowded and not in the best interests of preserving your mental sanity with how they drive.

That last problem may finally be getting a solution in the form of a new app from local start-up Quickloc8. The company, which has been operating for about a year, has its technology in about 1000 minibus taxis in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Limpopo that allows it to monitor the onboarding of passengers and how they drive, so that taxi owners can detect if their vehicles are overloaded or driving recklessly and have better control over their fleet.

Taxi owners have to sign a R199.99 a month on a three-year contract and a R699 once-off activation cost, to make use of the technology which then allows them to track their taxi through an app on their phone.

The company, in an interview with Business Insider, wants to “bring integrity back to the taxi industry and promote transparency by giving power and control to the taxi owner and the associations”, according to Mbavhalelo Mabogo, founder and CEO: 

Innovation has happened everywhere else except in the industry that transports the most people to the most places at the most times at affordable prices. We have built in features in our hardware that allows taxi owners to safely and remotely stop and start the taxi for more control and to ensure safer driving. We install a device assembly in the taxi that can cut power if activated. We made sure it’s possible only when the taxi is standing still or at safe speed.

This is certainly an innovation that is needed, though without any actual government regulation the behaviour of many taxi drivers are unlikely to change. This is the type of technology that is needed across the whole industry and managed in a way that has actual consequences for the offenders involved. Though with that unlikely to happen anytime soon, at least this company has the right idea to clean up our local taxi industry.

Last Updated: August 1, 2019

29 Comments

  1. HvR

    August 1, 2019 at 11:28

    Love how the MyCiti system is punted as be all and end all of public transport. It has literally never been expanded past the original 2010 layout; serves less than 20% of the metropole and half the time is not running at full capacity due strike action or protests.

    Reply

  2. HvR

    August 1, 2019 at 11:28

    Love how the MyCiti system is punted as be all and end all of public transport. It has literally never been expanded past the original 2010 layout; serves less than 20% of the metropole and half the time is not running at full capacity due strike action or protests.

    Reply

  3. Guz

    August 1, 2019 at 12:12

    The government should force all public taxis to be fitted with these and then the data must be sent to the owners AND the traffic dept at the same time, should also be made available for public access

    Reply

  4. Guz

    August 1, 2019 at 12:12

    The government should force all public taxis to be fitted with these and then the data must be sent to the owners AND the traffic dept at the same time, should also be made available for public access

    Reply

  5. Lynley James

    August 1, 2019 at 11:20

    The problem is how the deal between owner and driver works. Given that the owner “leases” the vehicle to the driver and demands a set fee to be paid each day the driver is incentivised to do as many trips with as many passengers as possible as he only makes money once he has earned enough to pay the owner his fee. Until that changes drivers will always drive like maniacs to get as many trips as possible done in a day.

    Reply

    • HvR

      August 1, 2019 at 11:28

      Jip the mobster … sorry I mean the taxi bosses are not going to willingly sign up.

      I would like to see a list of the 1000 minibusses would bet money it is tour operators and school drop off services.

      Reply

    • Tbone187

      August 1, 2019 at 12:36

      Well this is the most logical take I’ve heard on the situation.If only we had a competent transport minister who was capable of figuring out crux issues of this nature and acting on it, we’d get somewhere. Unfortunately Fikile is a mobster himself.

      Reply

  6. HvR

    August 1, 2019 at 11:28

    Love how the MyCiti system is punted as be all and end all of public transport. It has literally never been expanded past the original 2010 layout; serves less than 20% of the metropole and half the time is not running at full capacity due strike action or protests.

    Reply

  7. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    August 1, 2019 at 11:28

    I’ve noticed a general improvement in taxi driver behaviour anyway, or i’m just too chilled to bother about it. A lot of them are curteous and polite if you give them the chance.

    But this is good tech, really good. Can only get better.

    Should be applied across the board to include idiot drivers as well.

    Reply

  8. Guz

    August 1, 2019 at 12:12

    The government should force all public taxis to be fitted with these and then the data must be sent to the owners AND the traffic dept at the same time, should also be made available for public access

    Reply

    • Tbone187

      August 1, 2019 at 12:29

      Government should’ve paid off the taxi mafia when we transitioned in ’94. Instead they left it as is, to grow to what it is now.

      Reply

  9. Guz

    August 1, 2019 at 12:20

    Our government has failed us when it comes to public transport,

    Reply

    • Fnuik

      August 1, 2019 at 14:36

      you should have stopped after “us”…

      Reply

    • Fnuik

      August 1, 2019 at 14:36

      you should have stopped after “us”…

      Reply

  10. Admiral Chief Umbra

    August 1, 2019 at 12:20

    I’ve been good, I’ve only slapped two taxi mirrors this week.

    One for illegal merging, satisfaction level 6/10, anger level 4/10
    One for parking and dropping off 5 passengers in the middle of a traffic circle causing cars to back up for 100m, satisfaction level 8/10, anger level 11/10

    Reply

    • Guz

      August 1, 2019 at 12:29

      I’ve always wanted to but truth be told was scared they had a gun or somthing

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Umbra

        August 1, 2019 at 12:36

        Gotta go fast, bike style

        Reply

        • Guz

          August 1, 2019 at 12:37

          LOl now I got an image of Sonic running past all the taxi’s smacking their side mirrors xDhttps://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/653c22d8f164908be5b03366e660a9e7f53d7e0ff164b0c2ce55becdb4fe3faf.jpg

          Reply

        • Guz

          August 1, 2019 at 12:37

          LOl now I got an image of Sonic running past all the taxi’s smacking their side mirrors xDhttps://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/653c22d8f164908be5b03366e660a9e7f53d7e0ff164b0c2ce55becdb4fe3faf.jpg

          Reply

  11. Admiral Chief Umbra

    August 1, 2019 at 12:29

    Now, to hack these devices and force them all to shutdown

    Reply

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