Minibus Taxi

van taxi

An insight into Cape Town's public transport system with minibus taxis in Cape Town. These Uber-like apps want to make African minibus taxis better. When you are living in Johannesburg, South Africa, commuteing to work often means getting up early and waiting by the side of the street for a minibus that may or may not be arriving, and that may not have room for another traveller, even if it shows up. New Uber-like application named AftaRobot ("afta" will be used local to tell riders to get out of a minibus) will redesign the ride.

Pendlers can use the application to place a pick-up order and know when and where they will be taken. They know where to go and because their itineraries are clear, they can be less hectic. In the past, since there was no way to follow the driver, the route was often copied.

Pendlers can use the application at the end of a trip to give initial input. This sector originated in the 1980s, when taxi drivers first used minibuses capable of carrying about 15 people. In contrast to other means of transport, the minibuses were inexpensive, drove later in the evening and to remote places and had no long queues at the bus shelters.

However, minibuses are often hazardous, either because they are poorly serviced or because they are ruthlessly driven by people whose incomes depend on receiving as many people as possible. It is estimated that around 70,000 minibus accidents occur every year, twice as many as for other types of cars.

Ineffectiveness of the present minibuses raises further security problems, especially for womens when waiting outside in hazardous areas. Small bus companies are also hard to operate. "Mini bus companies are suffering from business invisibility...they don't have direct contact with actual information about their business because most key business activities are not captured, resulting in double work and loss of revenue," says Morapelli.

In South Africa there are about, but for those who use minibuses, the costs are usually unreachable. It is intended to reinforce, not substitute, the current minibus taxi-business. Following a long spell of developing apps, the group began to bring together a large ecosystem of driver, minibus owner and cue marshal networks, managing taxi stand routes and teaching them how to use the application.

The first commuter service will start in Johannesburg on 21 February.

Mehr zum Thema