22 Apr Ponta Delgada Taxi Association starts working with taxi-link App
The Association of Taxis of Ponta Delgada begins, on May 1st, to use the Taxi-link application, which is already present in some of the largest cities in the country. The news was advanced by the President of this Association, António Feleja, and the founding partner of Geolink, Michel Ferreira, the company that developed and manages the application.
To correio dos Açores, Michel Ferreira explains that this application “computerizes the whole process of a taxi station”.
“Since a phone call comes in until the service ends. Ideally, it will end with a customer rating, between 1 or 5 stars, to the taxi and the trip itself. It has these two parameters,” he says.
The company’s founding partner points out that “the operators continue to be the same as those who work at the Ponta Delgada Taxi Association, but instead of answering by phone they start to answer by a computer that already supports a series of information that is provided to the operator.”
With this new application “the whole system becomes silent and everything is done in thousandths of seconds”, highlights Michel Ferreira, who also explains that after the request is made by the customer “is the computer system that consults the location of all taxis on the island of São Miguel.
Makes this query depending on the rules. For example, a service from Ponta Delgada is assigned to taxis from Ponta Delgada, one in Ribeira Grande is assigned to local taxis and lagoa the same thing. Even in Ponta Delgada is chosen the taxi that is closest or in the area for the longest time, to be the one to do this service”.
Michel Ferreira also explains that when the taxi driver receives a notification with the service assigned directly to the smartphone, he must accept it, so that the remaining process can be followed up.
“By accepting it, the system immediately obtains the location of the taxi, its number and automatically triggers an sms to the number of those who called. The customer knows which taxi will do the service and the estimated time of arrival at the site. The person also receives a link where they can follow the car until it reaches you. For that same link, she is then invited to comment and evaluate her trip”.
The entrepreneur responsible for this application that is available for Android and IOS and that can be downloaded in about 1 minute “already covers a very substantial part of the territory and is the one that has the highest coverage at the national level. We are present in Braga, Porto, Aveiro, Coimbra, Lisbon and even in the Autonomous Region of Madeira. From 1 May we will also be on the island of São Miguel”.
Michel Ferreira also points out that the act of “downloading the application is completely free. To register just enter your phone number and then you will receive a confirmation sms”. At the level of initial investment in the plant, it advances that this “will be small. With monitor and with the computer will not reach 1000 euros”.
Ponta Delgada Taxi Association considers that this application will bring benefits to professionals and customers
The green light for the start of this project was given earlier this week, following a General Assembly of the Association of Taxis of Ponta Delgada. Its President, António Feleja, begins by highlighting the fact that this application “is a clear asset for taxi drivers”. The President of the Ponta Delgada Taxi Association admits that “a very small percentage was left with one foot behind, but most realize that the future is this. This is a matter of mentality and we need to induce other colleagues that this will be an added value.
This doesn’t go back.”
António Feleja explains that the radios will still be active after May 1, “during an adaptation phase of three or four weeks”, but that the goal is to stop using this medium in vehicles. The representative of the Association also highlights some of the advantages that this new application will bring to professionals: “With the application we can walk through downtown Ponta Delgada. If I don’t want to stop in this square, I’m going to go to another square and we can even walk around without being in the square. The system will be contrary to what exists now. Nowadays we have to be physically in the square waiting for the customer to come in or call us via radio. This taxi-link system will also be fairer for taxi drivers themselves”, he assures.
The taxi driver’s representative also stresses that for customers, it will now be easier to order a taxi.
“With this application, who visits us and who may not have access to our numbers, already knows that the application, taxi-link Azores, now exists. No longer need third parties to call a taxi (…) even for our usual customer it will be all as before. Call Central, only the assignment of the service to the taxi driver will be different. Instead of being by radio it will be digital”, he explains.
António Feleja points out that with this application, “customers can choose the type of taxi they want (4, 6 or 8 seats). If the request is made by phone, ask the operator for this and it is the system that will pick up the type of taxi desired by the customer”.
At the individual level, each taxi driver will have to purchase a smartphone that will be used exclusively to work with this system. The Association will provide “an internet card that will have a monthly cost of 2.5 euros”, he says.
To train these professionals, two technicians from the company responsible for this application will come to São Miguel. António Feleja explains that to ensure better management of the service, three zones will be created.
“We will work with 3 zones; the high zone, the low zone and the SolMar area. The high area will concern the Arrifes, Relva, Mosteiros, Brittany, São Vicente Ferreira and even Farropo. Downtown will make Vila Franca and even Cabouco, if there are no taxis available in lagoa and there is some taxi from Ponta Delgada to circulate through the Lagoon. We work in three cities (Ponta Delgada, Ribeira Grande and Lagoa) “, he points out.
With the start-up of Taxi-link from May 1st, the Ponta Delgada Taxi Association has committed to pay 10 euros per month for each taxi.
“This company will provide us with the software and some kiosks in hotels. At the level of central, all the service that is already usual and is attended by our operators, we do not have to pay anything. Any service that is assigned by the platform will have a cost of 30 cents per service”, he explains.
Creation of new taxi rank
On another side, António Feleja said that there will be several changes in the taxi squares currently existing in the city of Ponta Delgada. The first of these involves, from the outset, the removal of the two existing sites in Praça Gonçalo Velho, which will be the target of an urban intervention.
“The two that exist in Praça Gonçalo Velho, in Portas da Cidade will disappear. A new 15-seat square on the Avenue will be created in this area, where the carriages and motorcycles currently stop,” he says.
Also in Largo José Bensaude will be born a new taxi rank with five seats. With capacity for four seats will be created another in Largo 2 de Março.
On Avenida Infante Dom Henrique (Marginal) two new locations will be created. One of them will be next to the area of the old hospital and the other will be next to the Hotel Azor.
“It is justified to have a square in this place. These are hotels with a lot of activity and the motto of the taxi is to be as close to the customer as possible”, stresses the President of the Association of Taxis of Ponta Delgada.
António Feleja also says he will meet with the Municipality of Ponta Delgada “in two weeks” to discuss these new taxi plazas.
The Association of Taxis of Ponta Delgada currently joins about 90 associates distributed in the municipalities of Ponta Delgada, Ribeira Grande and Lagoa.