The Jakarta Post
A customer opens the My Blue Bird application on her smartphone. (JP/Masajeng Rahmiasri)
Competition in app-based transportation is getting even tighter as the Blue Bird taxi company has launched a new version of its mobile application.
Through the update, users of My Blue Bird are now able to rate taxi drivers and view a more accurate tracking system.
Blue Bird director Sigit Priawan Djokosoetono told a press conference that the new app was part of the company's strategy to respond to current challenges.
“We need to keep on changing and making innovations continuously. We hope that Blue Bird will continue being an icon of Indonesia,” he said on Thursday in Jakarta.
(Read also: Blue Bird teams up with Go-Jek)
Launched in 2011, My Blue Bird was initially made to operate on BlackBerry devices. Compared to the first version, Sigit said, the new app offered more features.
The new version looks very similar to other transportation apps. To book a taxi, users choose the type of vehicle they want, input their pick-up and drop-off addresses, add pick-up instructions for the driver, and select their pick-up time (it does not have to be immediately). Customers then see an estimated cost for their ride. Should they want to contact the driver, they can call using a feature on the app.
Screenshots from the new version of the My Blue Bird app.(JP/Masajeng Rahmiasri)
What differentiates the My Blue Bird calling feature is that drivers cannot view customers' phone numbers. Sigit explained that drivers could only call customers via the app, without being able to see the phone number, to protect customers' privacy.
“As I frequently use taxi services to pick up my child, I feel relieved now there is a tracking system,” said singer and writer Dee Lestari, who attended the press conference as one of the company's loyal customers.
Another customer, Yusman, said he was happy about the update but hoped the company would soon provide cashless or e-payment options.
Meanwhile, model, actor and technophile Christian Sugiono said there should be route suggestions to help drivers avoid traffic.
Creative Economy Agency head Triawan Munaf said Blue Bird indeed needed to stay competitive.
“Only those that work fast and are innovative will succeed. Blue Bird needs to keep on being competitive, it cannot fall behind," said Triawan. (kes)
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