Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Sms taxi service in Shanghai

[Via Xinhuanet]
Shanghai taxi authority launched yesterday a short message service for its citywide call center, providing locals with easier access to book a cab. So goes the credo that you could only call a taxi by phoning or whistling. The service allows people to send a short message of their detailed location via their mobile phones to the call center's SMS platform. Isn’t that cute? The call center will then try to find the nearest free taxi and give the person a reply on whether it can dispatch a cab or not about 10 minutes later. 10 minutes? A bicycle service would me more appropriate I think. In that period of time I will start wondering if that taxi is really coming to take my tired legs home...
The Shanghai Taxi Administration Office said there will be no discrimination when selecting customers which call or send sms . I wouldn’t bet my sms’es on that. Sms senders are by far in the no-tip category. I’m exaggerating of course…there is no such thing as a tip mentality in China. But hey, it wouldn’t surprise me to find out that someday they’ll come with the ‘tipping by sms’ concept.


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