Taxi service gears up to employ students as drivers

Weride phone app to make ordering cab easy for all, including blind riders

Taxi cars (photo credit: REUTERS)
Taxi cars
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A new taxi service that is scheduled to begin later this month in South Africa and Israel will be hiring students as its primary drivers, to help them with a financial head start while still in school.
The application known as Weride will enable students to turn their vehicles into transportation services and supplement their income. The business model is designed to allow students the flexibility to work between classes and during the weekends.
As part of the service, payment will be deposited directly in the driver’s account immediately upon completion of the trip.
Moshe Yakobi, owner and CEO of Weride, said he was “happy and proud to present the innovative application that will bring about change in Israel and abroad.”
“Our main idea is to concentrate all the services needed to turn an attractive idea into a cash-generating application,” he said. “Weride’s goal is to reach 2,000 drivers, and the driver will only pay the company 5% plus VAT (value-added tax)... of the total of each trip.”
“We believe that the station management software, together with the meter’s approval, will be an essential and important component of the company’s revenues in Israel,” Yakobi said. “Our goal is to penetrate the Israeli market and in the very near future to expand overseas. The application already supports seven international languages in the first stage.”
Yakobi explained that Weride is not limited to drivers who own cars. “If a student would like to be a Weride driver but doesn’t have access to their own vehicle, they can contact Hertz and receive a vehicle under preferred conditions.”
The app, which can be downloaded free of charge, “offers the user an accessible taxi service at the touch of a button,” he explained. “The user can choose to order a regular taxi driver or, alternatively, a private driver, who are students only – an incredible way to support our hard-working students. The service will operate throughout the day and night, all days of the week.”
The Weride developers have also made the app easily accessible for blind customers by means of a sophisticated interactive voice response system.
The company says that prices will be significantly lower than those of taxis from competing applications.
Passengers will be able to choose between getting a fixed price and using the meter, which will calculate the price based on distance. “The application offers a variety of payment solutions, including PayPal, credit card payment or cash,” Yakobi said. “The passenger experience in ordering a taxi through the app is simple and may not seem like anything special, except for the fact that the driver will collect the passenger as a private driver in his personal car. This is similar to the Uber service abroad.”
The app includes several innovations, such as the ability to view a photograph of the driver before ordering a ride.