The Metered Taxi Industry
This report focuses on the South African metered taxi industry, a sector that complements other route-based bus, minibus taxi and commuter rail services. Statistics SA’s research reflects that the taxi industry as a whole accounts for approximately 70% of South Africa’s public transport usage. However, industry analysts estimate that 90% of South African taxis are minibus taxis and only 10% are metered taxis. As there is no readily available reliable data it is difficult to provide relevant statistics for the industry but a finance company estimates that there are approximately 20,000 metered taxis on the road.
A Changing Sector
Apart from the negative impact of the current economic climate on demand for services, metered taxi operators have had to cope with the disruptive effect of the smartphone-based e-hailing technology introduced by Uber Technologies. Stakeholders assert that the Uber concept is revolutionising the industry, changing the way people think about transportation. Traditional metered taxi operators see Uber as engaging in unfair competitive practices by operating illegally without permits and charging below-cost rates. Also of concern is the growing number of other services that are in direct competition to some of the traditional 24-hour services offered by the metered taxi industry.
The National Land Transport Amendment Bill of 2015 is expected to transform and restructure the national land transport system. The bill includes provisions for e-hailing transport services and in terms of the legislation, drivers who use Uber as a technology partner will require taxi operating licences and will be subject to regulation by authorities in line with other metered taxi operations.
The Metered Taxi Industry report discusses current conditions, the challenges faced by the metered taxi sector as well as the developments and factors influencing the success of the industry. The report profiles 13 companies including Sandton Taxi Cabs (Pty) Ltd t/a Johannesburg Shuttle Services, which offers chauffeur driven car hire services, mini-hire services and share shuttle services, and OR Tambo Airport Civilized Cab (Pty) Ltd, which was awarded the tender for metered taxi services at South Africa’s busiest international airport.