In Vietnam, taxis are everywhere. Step off the airplane, and that’s one of the most accessible forms of transportation. But that doesn’t make it a comforting or a secure place. All the street smart Vietnamese folk know: only take Mai Linh and Vinasun. They’re the trustworthy taxis; everyone else will take you for a spin around the city, charge you the extra dollar, and send you on your way. It’s a common thing in Vietnam.
Of course, locals don’t get taken advantage of because they know the streets, but foreigners and expats are easy marks. This is exactly where Tappxi wants to help.
It’s an Android app that allows you to book taxis and also, according to Iris Ancares, one of the members of the seven person Spanish and Vietnamese team:
With the help of the application, foreigners can avoid common language misunderstandings with local taxi drivers when asking for the destination address. The application also calculates the most effective route and computes the average fare in order to detect rogue taxi drivers and scams in the route pricing, which is a big problem in Vietnam.
So, basically, if a taxi driver is taking me for a spin onto unknown streets, I can pull out Tappxi and say “Hey, this is the wrong way, don’t gyp me. I know the route and the real price.”
Currently, Tappxi doesn’t have any agreement with any taxi companies but features MaiLinh and Vinasun because they are currently the most trusted companies. The team also hopes to add more companies it deems to be trustworthy.
I played around with the app a bit and it’s really simple to use and useful, especially for estimating the real cost of a fare. It also had the text in Vietnamese for telling the taxi driver where to go. In other words, this is super useful for tourists and expats who aren’t good in Vietnamese and don’t want to get gypped by dishonest taxi drivers.
If you want to check out the Android app, you can check it out here. The iOS version is coming soon.