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Taxi Times International - August 2015 - Deutsch

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GLOBAL TAXI NETWORK

GLOBAL TAXI NETWORK GLOBAL TAXI NETWORK Part of the taxi.eu crew at the transportation desk in the press centre GTN: DEVELOPING BRAND AND (INTER)CONNECTIONS In less than half a year after the launch of the Global Taxi Network, in November 2014 by the International Road Transport Union (IRU) at the Cologne Taxi Forum, most of the large national and international taxi and private hire associations and taxi/private hire-based apps had joined. But what’s happening now? GTN has gone a bit quiet lately. “It’s understandable you would think that”, says Stuart Colley from IRU Brussels and spokesperson for GTN. “With the large number of participating associations and apps involved, the partnership now spans the world, and behind the scenes GTN and its partners are busily working on connecting the different apps.” “This way we will soon be able to offer app-users from within the GTN-family a seamless roaming experience wherever they are. At the same time GTN and its partners are developing the worldwide branding and promotion of this major partnership in the taxi and PHV-trade.” Both Taxi.eu and eCab were major founding fathers of the GTN-network. Whereas Taxi.eu has been focused on extending its brand to countries (a few months ago adding Serbia, Greece and Turkey to the existing European Taxi.eu-family) besides the 12 countries with FMS dispatching centres, eCab has followed a different, more city-based, approach. “eCab was born from an international alliance of taxi companies that wish to build a leading service in urban and digital mobility, combining the best of digital innovation and local expertise”, explains eCab’s Niels Kaae. “We don’t consider ourselves a technology provider, but a business partner with insights and technology. We believe the winning approach is when we combine cutting edge technology and operational excellency. We serve increasingly demanding customers, with values as simplicity, reliability, proximity, honesty, and service and we are developing our network in two directions. One is geographical with more and more partners in Europe, North America and Asia and the eCab smartphone app today being available in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Dublin, as well as in 7 other French cities besides Paris (Lyon, Aix-en-Provence, Lille, Douai, Bordeaux, Rennes and Reims). “The latest addition is Madrid which is expected to go live at the end of 2015. We will also be adding Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Caen and Nimes to the French network. We are also currently integrating 5 cities in Canada. No, I’m not giving the names yet – that will remain a surprise for a while. By the end of 2015, eCab will cover 50 cities, in 9 countries, and 3 continents, with 40,000 taxis.” The style of eCab founding father Taxis G7 in Paris, one of Europe’s largest taxi radio circuits, is very recognizable in eCab’s other direction: “The other dimension is the service quality where we work closely with our partners to develop more services and deliver better customer experiences”, adds Kaae. “We offer two to three different service levels in each city. We believe that better service is the answer to more competition in a more globalised world.” wf The ESC taxi fleet consisted of hybrid vehicles and six Teslas running exclusively on electricity, which not only boasted zero emissions but also created an atmosphere of luxury. “The negotiations for this cooperation took months”, recalls Hartmann. “We did not want to miss the opportunity to present taxi.eu at one of the biggest European media events.” This kind of marketing would not have made much sense for the Vienna taxi circuit, so Hartmann made enquiries at the app operator fms Systems and taxi.eu partner circuits and got the green light right away. The financial basis for the partnership with the ESC event organiser, the Austrian television channel ORF, was also established. Both sides have agreed to keep the exact amount of sponsorship confidential, but Hartmann claims that it was significantly less than what was paid by the other event suppliers, since a comprehensive package of services was included in the deal. Hartmann is referring not only to the many taxi rides, the value of which was agreed upon as part of the supplier package (the drivers switched on the taxi meters during the ride in accordance with the law and received their fees from Taxi 40100), but mainly to the expertise, skills and commitment that were provided as an operational partner. CONCLUSION Around eight weeks after the event, the management of taxi.eu and taxi 40100 have come to a positive conclusion. A strong PR and marketing effect was achieved. Many Vienna companies now prefer to order environmentally friendly taxis, which is something positive they can add to their public environmental record. Not only Vienna, but all of the other partner circuits involved used the event partnership for their PR activities – most of all the newly acquired taxi. eu partner circuits in Athens, Istanbul, Belgrade and Cologne, which made particular efforts to spread the word through social media channels. Taxi Berlin presented its own branded ESC taxi. The internal message is even more important than the PR. “Since the ESC we receive queries from other European radio circuits –and some further afieldon an almost daily basis. They would 40100 has over 1,900 networked vehicles, 25 per cent of which are already environmentally friendly taxis. This fulfilled the event organiser’s ecological requirement. The ESC taxi fleet consisted of hybrid vehicles and six Teslas running exclusively on electricity, which not only boasted zero emissions but also created an atmosphere of luxury. “A few days before the big show, the mayor of Vienna invited us to a reception”, says Hartmann. “All of the artists were driven in buses to the courtyard where they then got into our Tesla taxis for the last hundred metres to the town hall and were chauffeured to the red carpet under the spotlight of the media. Our six Tesla taxis made the trip 17 times until all of the artists had been dropped off at the red carpet. The taxi.eu logo was in full view of the international television cameras dozens of times at this event alone.” But there was more than just the big show for the media that had to be well organised. There were also many transfers between the city hall, the press centre and the hotel. Everyone involved received the instruction in the handbook to order their taxis via all like to join the taxi.eu brand”, says Hermann Waldner, CEO of fms Systems GmbH. Martin Hartmann, CEO of 40100, adds: “We proved that European taxi circuits can unite under one global brand without having to give up their regional competence and independence. We will have more and more global players as competitors in the future. Our partnership with each other and also within the IRU taxi network ‘GTN’ is the right answer.” PHOTO: Taxi 40100 PHOTO: Name Name the taxi.eu app. “The download numbers and order rates increased dramatically during the week of the event”, says Hartmann. There was also a desk in the press centre where taxis could be ordered directly with the staff of 40100 – including a personal escort to the taxi. Thirty-three employees from 40100 were on hand to make sure everything went smoothly. “The environmental fleet, a user-friendly hailing app and not least of all the personal on-site service were all factors that allowed us to win the bid and even eliminate the competitor that had been in the running for event supplier for a long time”, says Hartmann, visibly proud of the achievement. “The push of a button on an app alone is not enough to operate a complex and exclusive passenger transport service.” jh Austria’s environment minister Andrä Rupprechter with taxi driver Josef Walter 22 TAXI AUGUST / 2015

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