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Melbourne Minicab company reveals fares & dispatch system features


One new company proposing to enter the Minicab market has advised that it intends to charge for pre-booked work “at no more than the taxi fare rates introduced in 2008” and they have further indicated that they will hold that level of charges “for some considerable time” as they build a significant market share.

They have also announced that they will only support single owner/drivers of Minicabs (not taxis) with their purpose-built “on-the-cloud” dispatch system. The dispatch system has also been designed to handle the proposed 'Share Ride' systems that will be introduced throughout Victoria. The “Variable Route Planning” module will cater for route and ad-hoc (non-route) bus services and the company will be bidding for contracted government bus tenders.

As an additional source of revenue (non-Minicab or 'Share Ride' related) the company will also offer dispatch services for couriers and will be pleased to provide GPS tracking & alarm-monitoring to any fleet operators in any transport field.

For Minicabs, the company will provide full GPS navigation, tracking and GPS tracking history for every vehicle (the history will be kept for a minimum period of 12 months).

The dispatch system will cater for “Preferred Drivers” (unlimited number of drivers per customer) where, on dispatch of a job, the system will FIRST search for a “preferred” driver and offer the job to that/those drivers who are close by. Only if a “preferred” driver is not found, will the system then default to the “closest” car. Of course, the system can operate in 'closest car' or 'zone' modes.

Full Duress Alarm facilities will be provided for Minicabs and this will be of much greater facility than any duress alarm system currently available in the taxi industry – CUSTOMERS will be able to activate the duress alarm using their Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones. The duress alarm mode provides for video and sound recording (with images & sound being instantly recorded – but NOT STORED IN THE VEHICLE!).

The system will provide a wide range of reports including “Revenue/Hour” figures, Vehicle Occupancy reports (hours, minutes & seconds that the car is OCCUPIED by paying customers compared with total hours, minutes & seconds that the car is logged-on). Revenue per kilometre and 'Passenger/Kilometres reports are produced automatically. The system can operate in a “One Fleet” mode or in “Multiple Fleet” mode.

Drivers will be able to enter orders from the car – for bookings up to 12 months in advance.

Drivers will be able to pre-view all of their “preferred” bookings for the remainder of their shift and, if they wish, “hand-back” jobs to the central dispatch facility (jobs that they will be unable to do – for whatever reason).

Drivers will be able to email their Shift Reports using the in-car dispatch unit.

Passengers will be able to up-date their complete profiles and speak with the driver coming to pick them up (after the job is accepted by the driver) and the driver will be able to 'phone the customer (either or both parties can elect to supress this feature if they wish).

The new Minicab company has advised that there WILL NEVER BE ANY SURCHARGE FOR CUSTOMERS WHO CHOOSE TO PAY BY CARD. The cost of supplying equipment, line charges, Merchant Fees, etc will be INCLUDED IN THE FARE.

The dispatch system can handle unlimited numbers of various fare matrices – there could be different fares for PEAK, OFF-PEAK & SHOULDER periods, varying fares at very busy times and lower fares at various times designed to stimulate work and tease-out 'latent demand'.

The system can calculate fares AUTOMATICALLY by knowing the street address of BOTH the pick-up and the drop-off for the job. There will also be pre-advertised fares for suburb-to-suburb work as this may be handy in some circumstances.

The system supports a full 'smart' phone booking app (with full details recorded just like Silvertop & 13Cabs now do and there will be no charge for this service to oppose newbies like Uber, Go-Catch, Ingogo, etc).

It is expected that taxis will be keen to hold on to pre-booked work. To do so they will have to put all of their efforts into:-|

* Improving taxi driver knowledge & customer service skills

* Reducing exhorbitant costs (like Depot Fees and Licence Assignment costs)

* Reducing other overheads – like the costs associated with running fleets (single owner/driver model will have far lower costs

* Try and keep taxis crewed as the “easy prey” of foreign student bailee drivers is reduced to a trickle as the 'Knowledge' is tested independently and as the earnings of taxis FALL as pre-booked work is taken up by Minicabs

* Answering telephones at NSP's and KEEPING CUSTOMERS FULLY INFORMED about their bookings, handling complaints promptly & efficiently and being RESPONSIBLE for the taxi service they purport to deliver

Over recent months, much planning has been done to ensure that there is NO FLOOD OF TAXIS (true competition from Minicabs will ensure that taxis are not an attractive proposition for anyone – those already IN the business and those who might be 'silly' enough to try and get started in a taxi).

It is important to advise the fare-structure that has been decided on by one Minicab company because that sets the scene for taxi fare deliberations which are about to get into full swing.

It will be a big advantage for the taxi fare-setting gurus to know in advance what the competition (with absolute control over their own fares) will do in the realm of “price setting.”

So there we have it!

One Minicab company announcing fares “no higher than the taxi tariffs applying in 2008” and likely to be held at that level “for some considerable time.”




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