A few weeks ago Brazil's Municipal Transportation Secretary gave the go-ahead for three approved and selected on-demand transportation apps to legally conduct their operations in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
NB This is a viewpoint by Paul Malicki, chief marketing officer for Easy (formerly Easytaxi)
The so-called "homologation permit " as the government refers to it - requires the apps to: enable electronic payments and receipts; allow driver rating by the passenger, and either show the photo and vehicle number of the driver or monitor the route.
The transportation secretary will then collect data from the apps, including comments and suggestions from the passengers, as well as their driver ratings.
Three Brazilian apps were legalized by the institution, including Easy (formerly Easy Taxi), itself born in Rio de Janeiro back in 2011.
All Eyes On Technology
The law is the first of its kind issued by the Rio de Janeiro authorities, which has traditionally opposed regulation of the on-demand technology. But just a few weeks ago, São Paulo state legalized private car services, marking an important breakthrough that could change the way the technology is regulated in Latin America’s largest country.
Today, apps such as Easy can operate both private car- and taxi-services in the city of São Paulo. In the first phase of launch, two apps were allowed to operate under the new scheme: Cabify and Easy. Others are expected to follow.
Rio is Ready !
According to the National Confederation of Commerce (CNC), more than 243,000 foreign visitors and 666,000 Brazilians are expected to visit the city of Rio de Janeiro in the month of August, posing a great challenge to the city’s existing transportation network. A great majority of improvements focused on the traditional public transportation infrastructure, which includes the new tram service as well as boats, buses and trains.
Foreign visitors, specifically, can count on the English-language websites for tourists. Among them is the just launched Visit.Rio from the city’s tourism agency, RioTur, itself activity involved in increasing the awareness about the tourism-friendly mobility is the city.
One of its recent activities includes promotion of on-demand technologies in selected venues, such as hotels or airports. According to Daniel Brick from RioTur, mobile applications will be key to assuring better experiences of Rio visitors:
“We believe that technology can change the way you experience Rio. We recommend that visitors use the partner apps to better organize their itineraries."
Moovit, which was selected by the Rio government as the official transportation mapping solution, has recently integrated on-demand services, partnering with Easy to allows users to compare the prices of public transportation, including taxi and the newly launched BRT metro system extension, or even combine the traditional transportation with the taxi services.
Pedro Palhares, general manager of Moovit in Brazil, highlights how technology played a crucial role in the optimization of mass transit ahead of the upcoming influx of foreigners:
“We have mapped hundreds of kilometers of existing bus lines and helped alter more than 2300 existing routes, outlining better circuits for public buses, BRT, vans, trains, and of course, the metro system. The existing system of taxis and ferries will complement the entire network.”
Better routing, technology alliances, and service improvements aren’t the only advancements awaiting Rio visitors. For example, we have launched a filter on our app which means users can request a driver who has passed an English exam, conducted among more than 20,000 of our drivers in Rio.
NB1 This is a viewpoint by Paul Malicki, chief marketing officer for Easy (formerly Easytaxi)
NB2 Image by Frazao/Big Stock.
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