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19 June


New "eTaxi" app in Hong Kong was launched on Tuesday

It already has 4,000 drivers signed up and passengers can to pay via Octopus Card

Photo: Dickson Lee

/NOVOSTIVL/ A Hong Kong taxi alliance will officially launch a ride-hailing app on Tuesday to rival Uber, boasting payment through the popular Octopus Card and call centre support for cabbies. This article appeared in the South China Morning Post.

The launch of the eTaxi app, which already has 4,000 drivers signed up, comes amid mounting complaints against taxi drivers, especially for turning down trips. This has led to the increasing popularity of Uber and hostility towards the taxi trade.

Passengers have also long urged cabbies to accept alternative payment methods such as Octopus and credit cards.

“The launch is historic,” said Hung Wing-tat, chairman of the Hong Kong Taxi Council, an alliance of 17 groups comprising taxi owners, drivers and other stakeholders. “The app is a historic creation from the combined effort of the whole taxi industry.”

Like the Uber app, eTaxi allows users to see taxis at their location, enter trips, check estimated cost, order a cab and choose payment methods. Hung said the app also included functions that Uber did not have, such as support from taxi call centres so drivers would know what routes to avoid.