A St Stanislaus teacher turned entrepreneur has launched an online app that will make calling a taxi just a click away.
The new E-Cab online app allows passengers to check for and hire the nearest taxi driver, and will also feature real time tracking through Global Positioning System (GPS).
As of Saturday, February 4, the app is available for download by potential users from Google Play Store. It can also be used via Facebook, a popular social media platform in Guyana. According to Chief Executive Officer and founder, Charles Hutson, only fully vetted drivers will be part of the program.
Calling it a revolutionary form of taxi service, Hutson explained that the idea for his business was born after personally experiencing unsatisfactory service from local taxi services.
“My friends and I have been taking a lot of taxis. And during the course of (time), we have experienced a lot of issues such as the dispatcher who most of the time gives wrong information, unruly drivers and usually we would be overcharged.”
“So all of that coupled together and I thought, why not come up with a system that would improve on all these negative occurrences we have going on with the current, traditional taxi services. So I decided to develop an app that will connect drivers with passengers in real time, with the tap of the button.”
Technologies, a worldwide online transportation service company, E-Cab conducted its own feasibility studies and surveys. The results, he said, showed that Guyana is in need of an on-demand mobile application which secures both passengers and drivers.
“If you look at some of the issues going on, there are passengers getting into cars and they don’t know who these drivers are. (But) they just get into these vehicles and they go from point A to B. And things can go wrong. “
“Vice versa, drivers don’t know who they’re picking up; it could be anybody doing something unorthodox. And you’re carrying them to a location and you don’t know what is going on.”
According to Hutson, E-Cab will be conducting background checks on all drivers joining the system. He explained that mandatory checks would include drivers submitting copies of their registration, identification and all vehicle documents, in addition to a vehicular inspection being carried out.
The 25-year-old teacher spoke of the feedback, primarily positive, which he has received from potential sponsors, clients and drivers.
“You just have to download the app from Goggle Play Store or the App Store. If you have an iPhone it works. If you have an android store it works just as fine. It’s easy, it’s less than 12MB of storage and the registration process is simple.”
He noted that passengers did not necessarily need approval, but that E-Cab may have to call and check with them in some instances to ensure that they were indeed passengers.
Hutson, who teaches Grades nine to twelve Information Technology and Computer Science for the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exams (CAPE), also had some advice for other young entrepreneurs.
“My advice to them is, don’t give up. It’s going to be hard. Sometimes you will feel like if you can’t move forward, you’re not getting any calls, no one wants to help you. (Sometimes) family and friends are not going to help you. You have to make the step and keep pushing yourself.”
When, through perseverance, the summit of the mountain is reached, he stated, help will come from all sides.
“So continue moving on, don’t give up. That’s the key.” (Guyana Times)