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Trinidad: Mobile taxis drive on-Drop, Pink Cab, Caribbean Taxi roll into Uber’s lane

UBER terminated services in TT after operating for a year and a half, having launched in January 2017.

During their time in operation, the company gained over 500 drivers and 7,000 active users. The California, US-based company said, “having made multiple efforts to create a significant change in the country in regards to mobility and opportunities for entrepreneurship, Uber has unfortunately decided to pause its operation in the country.”

Despite creating hundreds of job opportunities and gaining thousands of active users, Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan said Uber had little or no impact on transportation in TT by virtue of the short time spent in operation.

In contrast, since Uber has left TT, a number of companies that provide similar or the same service are gaining momentum. Among these are Drop, Pink Cab and Caribbean Taxi.

Drop is a local transportation alternative which uses similar technological mechanisms as those which facilitated Uber. It allows clients to pay using either credit card or cash. Drop has a fee structure which is based on distance and time and a base rate of $25 and $1.25 per km. Between the hours of 1 am and 5 am, there are 10 per cent additional charge added to the regular rate card.

Customers may hire rides on an hourly basis at a minimum of two hours, at a rate of $175 per hour, based on availability. Every additional hour is charged at $175. Toll-free calls can be used to schedule pick-ups, or customers may alternatively download the app, which allows them to get information on their driver.

Using the app provides photos of the driver, the car and its registration number, and allows users to track distances on their mobile device. Drop said this system makes it safer for people to travel.

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