Yangon to trial-run taxi meters

YANGON, 28 May 2015: A trial run of taxi meters will take place in Yangon, this June to determine their viability in the local market.

An independent company authorised by Yangon region’s Ministry of Transport will supervise the test run. Taxi meters are a universal feature in all major cities worldwide, but Yangon authorities believe they need to make a trial run to judge if the system’s viable in a city where there are no controls over what cab drivers can charge.

Myanmar Business Today media reported that Analytics Company, an IT firm based in Yangon, will implement systems designed to improve the fare collection and safety of Yangon taxis.

The firm’s project manager, Ko Khant, said the trial will begin, next month, in the commercial capital.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Ministry of Transport of Yangon region has asked the company to run the trial, and if successful, the firm can then implement a full system that could eventually incude GPS monitoring.

The meter service is set to begin with 100 taxis, but the standard flag-down charge, a major point of contention, has yet to be decided, the report said.

Currently, taxi charges vary and depend mainly on negotiation skills. The actual fare is settled taking into consideration the number of passengers, traffic congestion (duration of trip) and even the apparent wealth of the passengers boarding the taxi.

A GPS system will eventually be installed in taxis, to allow continuous monitoring. This could prevent accidents. In addition, a telephone taxi hailing service will also be adopted.

In Myanmar, taxis previously ran on a meter system, but it was abandoned.

According to Motor Vehicle Regulation and Maintenance committee’s registration data, there are about 47,300 taxis in Yangon, the report said.