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GoMyWay: How an iPhone App Plans to Save You Money on Taxi Fares

gomyway-girls
gomyway-girls

Taking taxis can be a pain, but one location-based smartphone app is hoping that it can help Singaporeans make that experience a little more interesting, and more importantly, a whole lot cheaper.

It’s called GoMyWay. And it starts out by asking for your current location as well as your destination, and then tries to find someone nearby who is going in the same direction, so that you might ride together and split the fare.

Founded by four friends — Adrian Wong, Leslie Ng, Ken Ng, and Wee Hong Shee — it plans to start in the Singapore market, but if all goes well it can later expand to other cities.

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But wouldn’t there be privacy concerns with such a service? GoMyWay has implemented some privacy measures, and does not disclose mobile numbers, but rather lets users communicate via its chat function. There’s also the ability to specify who you want to ride with, as co-founder Ken Ng explained:

We understand that for anyone who might use the app, safety is the top priority. For example, there may be some ladies who might feel safer sharing a taxi only with other females. This is why when developing the app, we decided to incorporate the filter function.

Users can also be rated by those they ride with, so that others can see if one is a good traveling companion or not.

gomyway
gomyway

Splitting fares

So how exactly are the fares split between the riders? The first passenger to get off will pay 60 percent of the fare to the other passenger. The rationale here is that the second passenger likely had to go a little off his/her normal route to accommodate the first passenger, and there’s also the fact that the first kilomenter of the journey is the most expensive. Co-founder Wee Hong Shee further adds:

Whether it’s a 50 percent or 60 percent split, people should remember that the actual dollar discrepancy is immaterial and averages out over the long term use of this app - sometimes you’ll be the first passenger alighting, sometimes the second.

gomyway
gomyway

How do does GoMyWay plan to make money, if they don’t take a cut of the fare? Users receive 20 free tokens upon sign up for the service, and then GoMyWay collects one of those tokens for each successful pairing. Of course once you run out, you would then buy new tokens inside the app for S$0.25 to S$0.40, depending on how many you buy. There is also the possibility that the team might use an ad model, or work with restaurants or business to arrange group trips to certain destinations.

Currently it is only available for iOS, but there are plans to bring it over to the Android market later.


Written with reporting and contributions from the legendary Ming Hao.