GrabTaxi, a large taxi-booking mobile app in Southeast Asia, has launched its beta trial in Pattaya. Mayor of Pattaya City, Itthiphol Kunplome, chaired the launch, which was held at Ocean Marina Yacht Club.
This is the 16th city that GrabTaxi operates in Southeast Asia and the second Thai city after Bangkok.
GrabTaxi was launched in Bangkok late last year and became popular among passengers and taxi drivers.
GrabTaxi has a regional footprint across Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.
“We are extremely happy to welcome a technology platform like GrabTaxi, which will provide convenience to both locals and tourists to use public transport in Pattaya,” Itthiphol said.
“Since our mobile app was first launched in 2012, the response from commuters around Southeast Asia has been amasing,” said GrabTaxi Thailand Director, Juthasree Kuvinichkul.
“The ease-of-use and safety aspects made it an instant favourite among commuters with one GrabTaxi cab being booked every two seconds regionally. Now, we are bringing the convenience and reliability of the GrabTaxi mobile app to Pattaya commuters.
Drivers using GrabTaxi always charge the metered rate together with a booking fee and we feel this will greatly improve the people’s perception of taxis in Pattaya”.
GrabTaxi Thailand Deputy General Manager, Vee Charanunsiri said the app’s popularity in Bangkok has raised its profile with local residents and tourists requesting for GrabTaxi to be introduced to the other Thai cities.
“We selected Pattaya due to its proximity to Bangkok,” said Vee.
“Having provided our services in six countries, we understand the pain points that many passengers face. In Pattaya, we aim to revolutionise the taxi industry and encourage taxi drivers to use the meters. We want to provide passengers with safe and reliable taxis and to make sure that they get a taxi soonest after making a booking via the app.”
Passengers in Bangkok pay the taxi driver the metered fare with an additional Baht 25 service fee, which goes directly to the driver. The same mechanism applies within the Pattaya city limit but the service fee is 40 Baht.
Additional charges will also apply for distances beyond 6 kilometers of the city center.
“We feel our fares are reflective of the local market rate, yet provide a safe and stress-free ride for passengers. This creates a win-win situation for both passengers and drivers,” Vee said.
Using the mobile app, which can be downloaded for free for smartphones and tablets running on iOS Android, Blackberry or Windows, commuters can book taxis in a fast, convenient and safe manner.
When the application is launched, GrabTaxi automatically detects the commuter’s current location using the smartphone’s in-built GPS (Global Positioning System) and shows the number of available taxis within a certain radius.
The commuter selects the desired destinations and the booking request is then sent to taxi drivers within the said radius. The drivers bid for the job and the one nearest to the commuter is assigned the booking. The commuter receives a booking confirmation within one minute, along with the driver’s contact details, name, vehicle registration number and estimated time of arrival.
The commuter can also track the real-time location of the booked taxi, watching as his driver moves towards him. GrabTaxi is also integrated with popular GPS maps application to help drivers with direction.
The app is currently available in six countries. With over 1.7 million downloads of the GrabTaxi mobile app around the region and with 300,000 users per month, GrabTaxi is the market leader in Southeast Asia.
Users can have a safe and convenient taxi experience with the same app in all the six countries that GrabTaxi is in. Using GPS to help locate taxis, the mobile app is not dependent on any local taxi network.
To celebrate the launch, GrabTaxi will offer Baht 40 discount off all taxi rides in Pattaya for two weeks, from September 17 until October 1, 2014.
Passengers need only to download the GrabTaxi app for free onto the iOS, Android, BlackBerry or Windows devices, book the taxi and key-in PTY into the promo code field.