We've all been there before: it's a cold and windy night, so you decide to order a taxi even though you only live a few kilometres up the road. An hour later, you're still waiting. The taxi app GoCatch is attempting to eliminate this short fare reluctance via a "frequent flyer" style points system. But will it be enough to make taxi drivers change their ways?
'goPoints' are a new reward-based system for taxi drivers tied to the taxi application GoCatch, which is available as a free download for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Taxi drivers accrue points whenever they accept a job and collect a passenger. The clever part is — they get more points for taking shorter fares.
“goPoints are just like earning frequent flyer points on planes," goCatch CEO, Andrew Campbell explained in a statement. "It’s the sure fire way to ensure your short taxi ride gets picked up by a driver and that the job isn’t rejected.
“The more goPoints a driver has, the better their chances of securing a lucrative fare. When a big job comes through, Platinum Drivers can access it first, followed by Gold, Silver, Bronze and unranked drivers. It’s our way of rewarding drivers who accept the unpopular, shorter jobs.”
While this all sounds great on paper, it's worth noting that the taxi app landscape in Australia remains fractured and is frequently criticised by Cabcharge and other industry bodies. Fact is, there are likely to be plenty of fares in the offering even if a taxi driver decides to ignore GoCatch fares completely.
Still, with any luck, the new system will help to cut down on waiting times when you just want to swing by the local bottle shop and don't have a car.
If you're interested, you can download the GoCatch app here.