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Taxi apps will improve to help avoid misleading riders in city

THOSE hailing taxis from the street should have fewer frustrating experiences of having empty cabs with their green “available” lights glowing pass them by.

Third party taxi booking apps said they will better coordinate with taxi companies to share dispatch information and avoid misleading those who hail for taxis from the streets.

Taxi booking software companies Kuaidi Taxi and Didi Taxi, which have the largest share of business in the city, agreed to update information to the dispatch system of local taxi companies. Once a taxi accepts business generated by the software, the top light will change to “dispatched” instead of “available” so that passengers hailing from the streets will not be confused or aggravated.

While the top light remained “available,” those hailing taxis by waving from the roadsides often felt they were being passed up by empty cabs.

The Shanghai Transport and Port Administration said there were technical adjustments to be made in the dispatching system of taxi companies before they could receive timely information from third party software companies.

The taxi companies will also help to supervise their drivers’ manners after they accept business from third party apps to avoid problems like overcharging or cherry-picking passengers.

Meanwhile, Shanghai will build more taxi-hailing spots at commercial centers, residential areas and other public places to help citizens with finding cabs. Phone dispatching, using third party apps and hailing cabs from fixed spots will be the three methods of finding a cab that riders will be encouraged to use in the future. The traditional way of waving down taxis from streets is considered to have safety risks and to be inefficient says to align demand and cabs ready for service.


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