Private vehicles not allowed to sign up on Vodo app

The Fiji Times reporter Siteri Sauvakacolo tries out the Vodo app with Lautoka cabbie Prem Chand. Picture: FELIX CHAUDHARY

VODO, Fiji’s online taxi hailing service, will not allow private cars to sign up to its mobile phone app.

CEO Elena Arens said concerns raised by Fiji Taxi Association (FTA) president Raben Bhan Singh about illegal transport providers using Vodo were unfounded.

“We’d like to acknowledge that it is a valid and important consideration, especially given the fact that in other countries, companies operating similar technologies do recruit private drivers, often ignoring local regulations and imposing a negative impact on the community,” Ms Arens said.

“At Vodo, we don’t want to do that. “We support the local community and the authorities and stay well within in the boundaries of the law.

“Moreover, we believe that since taxi services are reasonably priced in Fiji and there are many taxi drivers on the road, especially with the issue of new licences recently, there is no market need to bring in independent drivers.”

She added drivers who expressed interest in signing up to Vodo were vigorously screened.

“Regarding Mr Singh’s concern about private drivers registering for Vodo, while anyone can download the app, it won’t work unless the driver and taxi is approved by our team.”

FTA president Mr Singh had welcomed the Lautoka-based initiative but raised concerns about private cars being able to use Vodo.

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