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New taxi app aims to modernise service

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

A new app designed to modernise taxi services in Gibraltar was unveiled by representatives of the Gibraltar Taxi Association (GTA) and the Minister for Transport on Wednesday. 

The ‘Gibraltar Taxi Association App’ aims to “facilitate the use of taxis in Gibraltar” for locals and visitors alike. 

Service users can sign up to the app using their email address, with the app automatically detecting their location when requesting a taxi. 

An approximate price is given when booking a taxi, which depends on distance, traffic levels, and the time of day. 

The app will operate as a three-way system between the customer, taxi driver, and the GTA call centre. 

Users can also choose what type of taxi they would like based on vehicle size and whether it has a card reader. 

Hitesh Mirpuri, Operations Manager at the GTA, unveiled the app during a press conference, where he told the press that the aim is for all taxi drivers on the Rock to be equipped with a card reader. 

Mr Mirpuri said the app, which is currently available for Android users, aims to reduce the volume of calls at the GTA’s call centre whilst giving service-users an alternative way of booking a taxi. 

“The main advantages of this app are to reduce the volume of calls we have at our call centre and to balance it out between the app and phone calls, as well as giving the client the facility to order via the app,” he said. 

“Many people don't have credit on their phones, and everyone has data nowadays.” 

“Young ones who are always on their phones would rather order through the app, so to give them that facility as well.” 

He said the app will be available on the Apple app store soon. 

The Minister for Transport, Dr John Cortes, said the app has improving the taxi service in Gibraltar at the forefront of the initiative. 

He said the app will “greatly facilitate the use of taxis in Gibraltar”. 

“I think it's something we welcome, it brings us in that respect into the 21st century.” 

“It's been developed entirely by them [the GTA], this is not a Government initiative.” 

“We've been working very closely together since I took over the transport responsibility in improving a lot of things, but specifically in improving the taxi service, which we all recognise is important for Gibraltar for residents and for visitors alike.” 

“We're working very hard, we've had changes in legislation, and we are making a lot of progress and there's more to come.” 

Changes to legislation include increased fines for non-compliant city service taxi drivers and the ability for more than one driver to be added to a taxi licence. 

The Ministry for Transport and GTA are “engaging with transport inspectors” to ensure that designated city service drivers are not venturing into Rock tours. 

Luis Debono, president of the GTA, confirmed that the Transport Commission can track drivers on shift, which acts as a preventative measure to ensure that city service drivers are not venturing away from the service. 

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