....Set to Create 500,000 Jobs in Southeast
By Abuchi Onwumelu
A new transport network system called Mr Taxi has been launched in Awka the Anambra State Capital with a call to the people of the state to embrace it for easy movement, goods and services.
Addressing newsmen in Awka, the Chief Operation Officer (C.O.O), Mr. Austin Nnaemeka Soundmind, said the recent ban on commercial motorcycles in some of the eastern states occasioned with the dearth of secure, reliable and affordable transportation for over fifteen million people living and working in the Zone gave rise to the formation of Mr. Taxi.
He said the problems associated with getting good transportation in bad weather conditions or during rush hour made it imperative that new well thought out transportation system was needed, noting that transportation system in Southeast region was in desperate need of a revamp.
'In recent times, technology has become the sovereign panacea for many societal problems. Transportation is not an exception. The transportation industry is massive and opportunities abound. A reliable solution to the transport challenge in the Eastern States is here. We call it Mr Taxi,' he said.
Mr. Nnaemeka said Mr Taxi was a transport service network that aimed to provide safe, comfortable, reliable and most importantly affordable transportation for residents of the major cities in Eastern Nigeria.
The Nollywood Movie Director noted that Mr Taxi would help to mitigate the rate of unemployment rate in the region by providing the much needed employment opportunities for potential drivers as well as managerial staff, noting that they were going to create over five hundred thousand (500,000) jobs.
According to him, potential customers would be offered the opportunity to download the Mr Taxi app free on Android and iOS devices, noting that with the app, customers could order a ride by imputing both their location and destination, adding that riders would be given an estimated time of arrival and an estimated quote of what the ride would cost based on distance and real time traffic reports based on Google maps.
'Every intra-city ride is subsequently charged based on time, with a per minute charge being the standard while inter-city rides will be charged in kilometres. At the end of the ride , the metre which is connected with the app and monitored remotely from the Mr Taxi office by administrators, informs the passenger what his fare is.
'The passenger may pay his fare in cash or with the use of the debit card. Mr Taxi offers an unprecedented safety measure that allows customers monitor and watch their chosen drivers approach on the app. This feature will forestall the risk of getting into a wrong and probably unsafe vehicle.
'Customers are given the opportunity to choose what type of vehicle to ride in. Options will include sedans, SUVs air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned rides amongst others.
'Mr Taxi offers fast and relatively cheap rides regardless of weather or time of the day. Downloading the Mr Taxi app gives the customer the unique incentive of a highly subsidized first ride.
'Mr Taxi drivers undergo a thorough vetting process to ensure they are reliable, responsible and safe to ride with. Mr Taxi offers a safety feature that allows passengers to flag a ride with the use of an SOS button on the app should something go wrong in the process of the ride. Cars registered with Mr Taxi undergo periodic safety checks.
'Mr Taxi offers the option of booking a ride for another person in a completely different location. Mr Taxi offers different payment options. Customers may choose to pay cash or pay with the use of debit card,' Nnaemeka concluded.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mr Taxi, Mr. Kelechi Freeman Ukadike, said drivers who wished to join the Mr. Taxi team had a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a great work experience that afforded good returns, stating that drivers would be expected to remit 10% of every ride cost to Mr Taxi on a daily basis.
Ukadike said for potential drivers to join the Mr Taxi team, they must possess a decent car in good working condition, saying that cars with two doors would not be allowed,adding that cars must be able to seat at least four passengers comfortably
He further said that the driver must have at least a two-year driving experience and also pass a driving test supervised by a Road Safety Marshall, noting that the driver must pass a compulsory background check and also owned a functional smartphone.
Speaking on incentives for drivers, Ukadike said drivers who met a designated target would be eligible to have their cars upgraded to a newer model registered in their name with the understanding that the new car would be registered with Mr Taxi.
On how to register, the legal adviser of the company, Mr Moses Ifeanyi said the driver would ensure that he had the required documents which, he said, included a valid driver's license and a commercial vehicle insurance document both registered in the driver's name.
'Get a car (no older than ten years old) and in good working condition. The car must be properly registered. Get a Google enabled smartphone. Call Mr Taxi registration office and get an appointment,' he said.