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EghtesadOnline: For years Tehran’s taxis have been associated with the colors yellow and green. Now they are flirting with pink in the form of the newly-launched taxi-hailing app called Carpino.

Officially launched this week, the application has been authorized by Tehran’s Taxi Organization and the Tehran Municipality in the hope of catching up with leading rivals Snapp and Tap30, Tasnim News Agency reported.

Carpino employs registered green and yellow taxis and users can select their driver on the app. It has been released for Android devices only. There is no information on whether iOS and Windows phone editions will be coming any time soon.

One cabbie who drove a SAIPA Pride tells the Financial Tribune that he cannot join the new system as Carpino is not accepting the small Pride sedans, according to Financial Tribune.

The notorious locally-manufactured Pride is the cheapest car available in the local market. With low price comes low quality. By filtering the cars, Caprino seems to up the ante in ride-hailing business by catering to those who want to ride in better and more comfortable vehicles.

Although Carpino fares are equal or less than Snapp and TAP30, the cabbies believe that they will rarely be idle and picking up passengers almost non-stop will make up for the significant price cuts.  

A cab driver told the Tribune that the application is much more efficient than the traditional taxi intercom system as it will reduce chances of mishearing and misunderstanding.

 Trust Factor

Before joining Caprino, cabbies sit through a two-hour orientation to learn how to use the application and treat passengers. To help accelerate the acceptance rate, the educators make it a point to stress that drivers should not ignore user demand for the sake of their own convenience.      

Drivers say one plus point of Carpino is that “the public already trust traditional taxis,” in this sense Caprino is ahead of Snapp and TAP30 who must work harder to win public trust.

“In terms of timing, Caprino could not come at a better time. Snapp and TAP30 have been working for over a year, they have already paved the way and people are fully aware of ride-hailing apps,” one driver said.

Another cabbie said the app has been piloted for about a month and drivers were called to join via SMS. There is still a long way ahead for Caprino until it can find the desired place among the people because “not much advertising has been done yet.”

Private companies which own the taxis, however, do not seem to be too enthusiastic about recent developments. Taxis joining Caprino will no longer have to pay a share to private taxi companies as the organization behind the app will be entitled to a commission on the fares.

In the first step, an estimated 8,000 drivers have been trained to use the application. Passengers can pick the type of car (hybrid, new models, van…) they would like to ride in as well as the driver’s gender. Those who do not have smart phones or Internet access can hail a cab using the number 1800.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of Iran’s Fintech festival on Friday, the Vice President for Science and Technology, Sorena Sattari said Snapp and TAP30 are successful examples of how startups can create productive change in society.

“The fact that the Tehran Taxi Organization is launching its own app to compete with the pioneers is indeed a victory for the tech sector because it has evolved as a trend-setter.”

Tehran taxis Iran taxi-hailing Carpino