Egypt Independent: News-Main news en Interview with Easy Taxi Egypt: App finds cabs <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>In the past, a taxi used to be a comfortable choice, but recently has become a frustrating affair. Not only do you have to look out for drivers trying to scam you, but even if you finally find taxi, it doesn&rsquo;t mean the driver will stop, and if he does, he could inexplicably refuse to take you.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For these reasons, the mobile application Easy Taxi was launched in Egypt. Easy Taxi is a Brazilian company founded in Egypt in 2011. The free application allows you to pick up a taxi by writing your own address and with a widespread network of taxis, the closest one will reach you.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;There are pros and cons. The pros are that you have the number of the taxi and the driving license plate, which is safer especially for females,&rdquo; said Shaimaa, 25, who works in social media at a private newspaper.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>She added that one positive thing is the caring customer service who usually asks for her feedback regarding the service and the driver.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Raffat pointed that the cons of the application is that the taxis don&rsquo;t cover many regions; they only cover the crowded places like Nasr City and Maadi, which is a big trouble.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Seventy percent of the drivers are very good in everything, but actually the rest are greedy because some of them scam by manipulating the taximeters,&rdquo; she said,</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>While talking to one of the taxi drivers who preferred to be anonymous said that the application helps the drivers in contacting with many customers. The company does not receive commission from each drive, but simply facilitates communication with people and provides more drivers.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;The taxis are ours and we are not employees in the company, which is nothing more than a middleman to communicate drivers with customers,&rdquo; he said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The driver said that the drivers deal with Easy Taxi spend money on purchasing smart phones and subscribing to a LE50 package of internet mobile data to be available all the time for all the requests.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In an interview with <em>Egypt Independent</em>, Nada Ali the head of marketing of Easy Taxi Egypt said that the app aims to connect passengers and drivers in the safest, fastest and easiest way, while creating an comfortable user experience. She agreed to answer multiple questions about the app.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What is the main purpose of the application?&nbsp;</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In Egypt, we are focusing on the safety of both the passengers and drivers. Once the passenger requests a taxi and the ride is accepted by a driver, the passenger receives the drivers info (name, personal photo, car plate and car model). The passenger gets to rate his or her ride after the experience has finished.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Does the company have partners?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We have three main global partners (investors): MTN, AIG and Milicom.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>How does the taxi driver benefit from Easy Taxi?&nbsp;</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Easy Taxi does not employ drivers and we don&rsquo;t pay the taxi drivers any salaries. But has a special team to convince the normal white taxi drivers to download easy taxi app (drivers&rsquo; version) and join us.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Easy Taxi guarantees more rides, thus more income which enhance the standard of living. Moreover, Easy Taxi organizes the driving paths, as the drivers know the rides in advance.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Easy Taxi guarantees a good caliber of passengers to ensure the drivers&#39; safety as well. Helping them to become more tech savvy by providing them training being part of a taxi driver community, which Easy Taxi was the first to create.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What are the criteria of choosing drivers?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The taxi driver has to have a smart phone with GPS. The taxi has to be in a good condition. The taxi has to have a working taxi meter. The driver has to be of good caliber. He must also provide documents, including a copy of any criminal record, copy of a national ID, as well as a copy of the driving and car licenses.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Does the company offer the drivers smart phones or money for internet mobile data packages?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The company does not offer the drivers smart phones or money for internet mobile data packages.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>How does the company make profits then?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We follow the same business model of What&rsquo;s App.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What&rsquo;s the average count of easy taxi users?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We cannot disclose this kind of information but globally Easy Taxi has 400,000 taxi drivers worldwide. I can tell you on a daily basis we acquire around a 100 drivers here in Egypt.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Are there any new plans or projects in 2015?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In the beginning of 2015, Easy Taxi had a partnership with KitKat (Nestle) doing a Santa New Year&rsquo;s campaign, dressing up our Taxi drivers as Santa Claus and having them distribute to any passenger that rides with them (Easy Taxi or non-Easy Taxi passengers) a KitKat bar.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Moreover, we are soon having a partnership with Bey2ollak App to help Egyptians move smoothly in the most time efficient way around the city.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Easy Taxi is launching soon the Easy Taxi Pay (ET Pay) where our customers can pay using their credit card.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Easy Taxi has just launched Easy Taxi Limousine &ndash; a brand new service that a passenger can request from the same app with the availability of a fixed price guide available as well on the app.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Talking with some clients, they did complain about some drivers who scam their passengers by manipulating the meters, how can you control this?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>True, this happens, but it is never impossible to control it! We are realistic and we have very strict rules to always maintain the highest service level of our taxis.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>We have a great relationship with our passengers, so as soon as any of this happens, they contact us and feedback us immediately, we then immediately take action, by first calling the driver understanding the reason behind it and educate him well that the usage of the taxi meter is mandatory. Then if the incident is repeated, we directly close his account.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Do you have any further projects with the government in 2015?</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For the time being we do not, but we have an ongoing partnership with the Petroleum Ministry, NGVS [gas stations] and Gas Tech.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Sat, 31 Jan 2015 12:24:00 +0000 Hend El-Behary 2443369 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/01/28/484151/1185951_394103420712432_725058114_n.jpg Governor: Cars to park for free at Tahrir Garage until Monday morning <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The Tahrir Garage has been opened to the public, Cairo governor Galal Moustafa el-Saeid said Saturday, adding that cars will be allowed free parking until Monday morning.</p><p>Saeid said Cairo police will secure entrances and exits of the garage and Tahrir&nbsp;square.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Edited translation from MENA</em></p> Sat, 31 Jan 2015 10:08:00 +0000 MENA 2443465 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/12/15/484151/277788_0.jpg Navigation movement 'normal' at Red Sea ports <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The navigation movement is going on normally on Saturday, said Spokesman of Red Sea Ports Authority Abdel Rehim Mostafa.</p><p>About 1,200 pilgrims left Safaga Port Saturday to Saudi Port of Yanbu to perform lesser pilgrimage (Umra).</p> Sat, 31 Jan 2015 10:00:00 +0000 MENA 2443464 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/10/27/484151/suez_canal_dude.jpg Politicians: The January revolution will not win by knockout <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Some politicians see that the January revolution has succeeded insofar as it has toppled the head of the regime, but it has failed to achieve other goals.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ali Amin of the Wafd Party in Suez said the revolution toppled Mubarak but did not achieve freedom and social justice, nor did it eliminate corruption. &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Nasr al-Zahra of the Wafd Party in Port Said said the revolution failed to achieve concrete results. &ldquo;The officials of the Mubarak regime have returned to the political arena to threaten us that they will take back their economic gains,&rdquo; he said.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He said the international conspiracies hatched against Egypt, and the threats by radical religious currents made people prefer that the state protects them and averted the revolutionary mood.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Nabil al-Hefnawy of the People&#39;s Current in Damietta said the revolution will go on as long as it remains threatened by the Muslim Brotherhood.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Sayed Abu Taleb of the Nasserist Party in Suez believes that the revolution has succeeded because it toppled a dictator that stayed 30 years. &ldquo;And the Egyptian people, together with the armed forces and the police, will thwart any attempts to destroy the country,&rdquo; he said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 08:26:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2443419 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/01/29/1755/demos_for_social_justice.jpg