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CABBIES turning up to the wrong address could be a thing of the past under new technology launched today.
Passengers will be able to book a taxi via a tweet in what 13CABS calls a world first.
It says the CABSTOP program, to be launched at the Victorian Taxi Association conference, is the quickest and fastest way to book a taxi, with passengers SMSing or tweeting a unique code rather than ringing a phone number and being on hold.
13CABS marketing and client services manager Simon Purssey said the taxi network had been working with Monash City Council for 18 months to put up CABSTOP signs featuring a unique code at prominent places across the municipality, including Chadstone Shopping Centre and Monash University.
Passengers then text the code to 0431 132 227 or direct message the code to @13CABS. They must still pay the $2 booking fee.
``Basically you'll get a return confirmation instantly with a booking number, saying your booking has been received,'' Mr Purssey said.
``It's a world first for any taxi company to initiate bookings via Twitter. There is no more being on hold.''
Monash Mayor Micaela Drieberg said she hoped the 40 CABSTOP signs across Oakleigh, Glen Waverley and Clayton would take some of the guesswork out of ordering a taxi.
``This service should really come in handy when people need a taxi but don't know their exact location,'' Cr Drieberg said.
Mr Purssey said every address in Melbourne and most in country Victoria had been given a code, which passengers could download via the CABSTOP website and use to book a taxi to any home, business or landmark via Twitter or text.
He said the taxi would be sent to the exact location of the CABSTOP, creating a more accurate system.
Meanwhile, taxi tsar Graeme Samuel is expected to tell the conference would-be licence holders could rent one from the government as early as the end of the year.
He is also expected to reveal ``The Knowledge'', London's famous cabbie training regimen, could be expanded to drivers of mini cabs.
``Pre-booked only'' licences are expected to be available towards the end of the year and will operate like London mini cabs - able to take pre-booked jobs with fixed fares, but banned from rank work and picking up passengers on the streets.
Mr Samuel said his main message would be about removing the ``institutional straight jacket'' that had hampered the industry from innovating, raising standards and being competitive.
He said under his vision for the industry new taxi networks would be able to set themselves apart with better service, new fare offerings and distinct branding.
``You might not go for the first cab on the rank. You might decide to go for the lime green taxi that is fifth on the rank or the pale blue taxi that is eighth on the rank because you know that it is a taxi that is run by a firm that is promising better quality drivers, better quality cabs and better quality service,'' Mr Samuel said.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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