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Recent Graduates to Launch App-Based ‘Smart Taxi’ Service in Jamaica


A start-up logistics software development company will in a few months launch an app-based “smart taxi” franchise in Jamaica, allowing commuters to book taxis from the convenience of their smartphones or tablets.

Ultreya Logistics, led by a group of recent University of the West Indies graduates, plans to launch the service at the end of the summer, just in time for the new school year. Its SmartTaxi app, the engine that drives the business, is downloadable on Android and iOS-enabled smartphones or accessible via a website.

“When you take a taxi, you are looking for convenience and a better service, and that’s what SmartTaxi provides,” said Marc Byfield, the founder of Ultreya Logistics.

Byfield, along with Ultreya marketing manager Akua Walters and software engineer Akil Aikman gave the Business Observer a demonstration of the app yesterday.

Upon logging on to the application to book a SmartTaxi cab, consumers state their location and destination point either by touching a map or filling out a form, after which they are given the rate for the trip. One can either pay using the app, through Stripe or PayPal, or the traditional way via cash or credit card once they get inside the cab.

It’s not an entirely new concept, though unique to Jamaica. The smart taxi service is similar to U.S.-based Uber or Easy Taxi in Latin America.

Ultreya is utilizing a franchise business model, with independent cab drivers operating under the SmartTaxi brand through a licensing agreement. The cab drivers pay the company royalties.

The company expects to launch with at least 20 drivers, who they say will benefit from reduced expenses, higher revenues and an array of benefits from operating under the SmartTaxi brand.

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