|Above, a taxi in the area of Tokyo Station. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
A new app is to be trialed in Tokyo and other area's taxis that will allow passengers to calculate the cost of a ride.
According to Japan Today:
TOKYO —An app that calculates taxi fares in advance of journeys is to be piloted in fiscal 2017 as part of wider efforts to boost taxi use. Passengers will be able to pay the driver either the cost shown on the app or on the meter at their destination, whichever is cheaper.
As taxi fares are calculated based on the distance travelled and time taken, the system is being developed jointly by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and taxi companies. It will be trialed in Tokyo and other areas for demand and accuracy before being introduced nationwide.
With a record 24 million international visitors in 2016 and a target to annually welcome 40 million and boost their spending to 8 trillion yen by 2020, a key target market is tourists. Holiday-makers on a fixed budget tend to avoid using taxis due to unfamiliarity about the distance to the destination and how much it will cost, concerns about dishonest drivers, or the inability to communicate with the driver. This app is designed to offer them peace of mind, thereby stimulating increased taxi use, and to make Japan more tourist-friendly ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Industry experts, however, have reservations.To read more, go here.