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The future of the taxi world: what the largest aggregators answered the questions of taxi drivers

Having virtually visited nine cities and visited large regions, we completed a study of the taxi market and looked at how those who actually shape it live, taxi drivers. We tracked the main trends, determined what is typical for the whole country and what local features are. And here we could put an end to it, but we decided that the study would be incomplete without the opportunity to give the floor to the other side – the largest companies, which also do not just compete, but create an image of the taxi market. Do they plan changes in commercial programs, software improvements that drivers dream of, what their future intentions are, what they will concentrate on in the near future – all these issues, in fact, also determine the near future of this industry.
Before proceeding to a dialogue with companies, we want to once again thank those who participated in our project: taxi drivers who became our “freelance correspondents”. They helped to form a picture of the world of passenger transportation from the inside, and at the same time to understand what is good in it and what is not so good. Based on their opinions, we formulated the main questions for the companies. We will not make comparative ratings, we identified all the main advantages and disadvantages of taxi services and aggregators in past materials. Today we will concentrate on something else: their own answers to key questions about work. We make requests, get answers and share them with you, and along with the drivers.
Yandex Taxi
Yandex is a recognized technology leader in the taxi market, but also the most controversial participant in our project. On the one hand, it gave a new impetus to this market, changed its appearance and made a “redistribution of territories”, becoming one of the largest players. On the other hand, the large volume of orders that this aggregator gives, according to taxi drivers, is not always a convincing argument to call their cooperation ideal. One of the vivid illustrations of this is the recent wave of strikes of drivers expressing dissatisfaction with the service that has swept across the country. And even though, in our opinion, this did not affect the status and performance of Yandex.Taxi, but the conflict of interest was indicated quite clearly.

The first question that we asked Yandex, of course, was about the high commission, which drivers always called the first among the shortcomings of the service. In response, Vladimir Isaev, PR Director of Yandex Taxi, noted that the company offers the so-called “unlimited”, which is often used by regular drivers in other services.

A driver connected to Yandex Taxi can now get a Change – for 12 hours (this makes it possible to work intermittently and capture both rush hours – morning and evening) or for 7 days. In this case, all the money earned goes to the driver, an additional fee is not charged. Changes are available to all drivers across Russia from those partner taxi fleets that have enabled themselves such an opportunity.

Vladimir Isaev, PR Director of Yandex Taxi
The second most popular complaint from Yandex partner drivers is the inability to see the end point of the order. Vladimir Isaev explained that changes should be expected in this area.
Such changes are already in the program of privileges for drivers. Several statuses are provided (from “bronze” to “platinum”) – depending on the driver’s rating, share and number of completed orders. The program covers all drivers working at any rate. Each status provides different privileges – from cashback at gas stations and fast food chains to exclusive options inside the Taximeter. For example, holders of the Gold and Platinum status always see point B at the time of receipt of the order.

Vladimir Isaev, PR Director of Yandex Taxi
In fairness, it is worth noting that during the preparation of the material Yandex Taxi announced another option, within the framework of which the final point of the order will be open: from December 16, the services “My District” and “On Business” are tested. But point B here will not be open for free, but for an additional 9% of the order price, which provoked further dissatisfaction and even a strike of taxi drivers in St. Petersburg. While the option is in the testing phase and, as a survey of our “freelance correspondents” showed, not all drivers are aware of future changes. But the denouement seems to be just around the corner.

The Lucky service in many cities of Russia appeared even when the concept of “aggregator” did not exist, therefore it remains popular even with the advent of new competitors and historically has very good market shares in the cities of presence. Drivers love “Lucky” for the ease of operation, the predominance of payment of orders in cash and the ability to see the end point of the order. Passengers, among the positive qualities, note the habitual for many people to call a taxi by phone without having to install the application.

But the application itself is just praised by few – usually customers note its backwardness compared to the software of the same Yandex or CityMobil. However, Zoya Austrian, the head of the Lucky service press service, revealed a little secret by promising a new application.

In some cities where the service is present, a new modern application for drivers is being actively tested, bugs are being worked out, and navigation based on three cartography systems is being tested. We hear our partners and are working on really important changes in the program and a modern, but not overloaded interface.

Zoya Austrian, head of the press service of the “Lucky” service

Actually, there were no more serious complaints, except for the outdated application, among drivers and customers of the service. Therefore, we decided to look a little into the future and clarify whether the company plans to adopt from the aggregators other features of the organization of work – for example, tariff differentiation with the introduction of cheap options without the ability to see the end point of the order.

Service “Lucky” builds partnerships with drivers. The carrier is the very client who gives the company revenue. That is why our efforts are aimed at making the driver profitable and comfortable working with Lucky. The company’s developers do not plan to make global changes to the established efficient processes, therefore, the extension of the tariff line for carriers is not forecasted, as well as the cancellation of the endpoint function that the driver knows in advance.

Zoya Austrian, head of the press service of the “Lucky” service
Taxi service “Maxim” began expansion from Kurgan, continued in Tyumen and Chelyabinsk, and then – in all geographical directions. Now the onset of strong competitors like Yandex and Luck has changed the situation, but Maxim still takes on a wide geography and regular customers, and sometimes surcharges for drivers.

The taxi “Maxim”, according to drivers, is also not the most modern application, but it collects fewer complaints than other similar ones. But the pricing algorithms here are not always clear and profitable: many taxi drivers noted that it is because of them that sometimes one does not have to take orders for this service. However, the Maxim press service assured us that they knew the problem, and the company was working not only on its solution, but also on global innovations.
Not always logical pricing occurs only in certain cases. Our experts are working to better take into account information about traffic jams, excavations and some other situations that arise that affect the price of the trip and, accordingly, the driver’s willingness to complete the order. At the same time, the company continues to work on new options in the application, and “Auction” is one of such innovations that has recently been launched in all cities and countries after testing. In this mode, drivers can offer passengers their trip price and speed up the car. The auction does not replace, it complements the usual system of setting fixed prices for trips. By the way, just the auction will help to speed up the car’s delivery for the passenger in a situation where the order price does not meet the expectations of the drivers due to some features that the system cannot take into account in the initial price calculation. In general, the algorithm adequately responds to moments of increasing demand. A boost factor works to attract more drivers and take passengers away.

Pavel Stennikov, press service of the Maxim service
Gett Taxi service is called infrequently by drivers and is not marked as popular. Against this background, it is difficult to single out its critical disadvantages and advantages – there is simply a service, and those customers who find it convenient use it. The only feature noted by the drivers with whom we spoke was the ability to work without a license, which makes the aggregator “unusual”. However, the press service of the service did not confirm this “competitive advantage”.

We are not employers for drivers, we interact with carriers, whose representatives are drivers. When connecting to the Gett service, a check is carried out for the presence of a valid transportation permit (the so-called “license”), which is issued not to drivers (individuals), but to carriers (legal entities and individual entrepreneurs). Gett does not provide the latter with the opportunity to connect to the service in the absence of a license, this rule is the same for us. Due to the fact that now there is no single and completely up-to-date database on permissions from Moscow and Moscow Region, the interaction with which to verify permission data can be carried out by the company in an automated online mode, we check the permissions of carriers connected to the service in the “manual” mode. Gett stands for the full legalization of the transportation market and the cleansing of illegal carriers.

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