Dar es Salaam. Tanzania-based Masterpay Company Limited, a taxi-hailing firm, has introduced Panda Online, an app that connects registered drivers and passengers via smart phones.
The introduction of the initiative, one of only a few by Tanzanians, makes it possible for users to arrange for transport from any location using smart phones and will give them access to a whole new group of service providers including drivers with a high level of autonomy.
Masterpay Ltd executive director Hemed Mlawa told The Citizen over the weekend that the new type of personal transport provides all the benefits of traditional taxi services and removes many challenges involving the use of such ways of finding a taxi.
“So far, within one week, we have attracted more than 400 drivers and over 100 passengers registered under our service. We also have employed agents in Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza and Mbeya. All these efforts are aimed at improving the lives of our customers,” he noted.
Mr Mlawa added that the platform was targeting the improvement of traditional ways of taxi-hiring by bringing registered drivers and passengers into a convergence while utilizing the high technology penetration in the country.
“Instead of having to park the vehicle for the whole day waiting for only one customer, this new technology keeps us busy due to the wide network of customers countrywide. I have only been using it for one week but I’ve realised it is good,” says Mr Daudi Robea, a taxi driver who has joined the Panda Online fray.
“Although the company is going to improve our lives economically, it still needs to register more passengers to enhance our business. For instance, in the past I used to drive a customer to the airport for Sh50,000 and come back without a passenger. But with this technology, if it manages to register more customers, I could find myself ferrying passengers to and fro destinations,” the driver stressed.
The driver insisted that safety was the most important factor when working with the Tanzania-based App. “In case of anything, the driver presses an emergence button that has been installed in the vehicle to alert the operator in the office to take action,” he explained further.