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Buenos Aires Builds Arsenal For Uber Fight: Launches Taxi App Next Month

by . September 16, 2016

Get ready to download another app to your phone. The City of Buenos Aires Legislature has approved the October launch of TAXIBA, an app that will enable users to order a taxi at the push of a button. The app can be used by the 38,000 drivers working throughout Argentina’s capital.

The app should be up and running in late October. What will the benefits be of using the app? Users will be able to find out in advance who their driver is, the make of the car, and the amount of time it will take for the driver to arrive. Passengers will be able to use credit and debit cards by having a card associated with their account.

Plus there will be a rating system to help avoid that skeevy taxi driver who thinks it’s OK that he hasn’t washed his car for months. Minister of Modernization of Buenos Aires, Andy Freire, said that the ability for passengers to rate the driver and the journey will “provide security and improve the overall experience of customers.”

Officials expect that 20,000 taxi drivers will join the app by October. It will first be available for Android users, and should be available on iPhones in November.

Proponents of the state-run app though have said that it will be beneficial for both passengers and drivers while also promoting technology and software that has been developed in Argentina, as opposed to abroad.

While there were no votes against the app, some legislators chose to abstain saying it was not enough combat Uber, which is illegal in Argentina but continues to operate. Although you’d think all taxi drivers would be happy with an app that will help them compete, that is hardly the case. The initiative did not go down well with the Chamber of Radio Taxis (CAR) because it considered that it would automatically bankrupt small taxi companies and nationalize taxi services.

“To combat Uber, the PRO chose the lesser evil (which was) to support the demands of the Taxi Union led by Omar Viviani. It knew it couldn’t satisfy both taxi drivers and radiotaxis and it had to choose,” a legislator told Noticias Urbanas, sounding a bit like the film director in the Godfather after finding a horse’s head in his bed.


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