A group of young Algerian entrepreneurs have created Algeria’s answer to taxi giant Uber: the new Yassir app.
The main aim of the app is to improve the service taxis provide in the capital Algiers by connecting taxi drivers with smartphone users.
The app is directly modelled on its American counterpart with its functions being just as straightforward: when you want to get around and you need to take a taxi, the Yassir app shows you the number and location of drivers around you who can respond to your pickup request.
When making the pickup request the driver automatically calls you on your mobile phone to confirm the request.
“We prefer to call before we start, because we often find people who do not really need a driver and who just try the application,” Yassir driver Mohamed explained.
In order to be recruited as a driver, Mohamed had to fulfil the criteria required by the company which includes being over 21 years old, having a driving license, a clean criminal record, a vehicle that is less than 10 years old and owning a smartphone.
Drivers register online through an application firm before they are then called in for an interview in the premises of Yassir. “It is very important for us to meet our drivers, check the condition of the car to ensure a quality experience for our customers,” co- founder Amel Delli explained.
According to her, Yassir’s prices are “competitive especially when we see the quality and speed of the proposed service” where Yassir tries to find the “middle ground” with its customers who pay lower prices in “illegal” taxis or higher than those of the “taxi counter”.
Despite the innovative aspect of the application in Algiers that aims to “digitise” the world of transport, users are already signalling malfunctions in using the application which include bugs and location issues.
Yassir developers have explained that this is mainly due to the fact that app is still in its beta version and that some problems are due to the settings of the phones used.
The Yassir team is currently working on explanatory videos that provide details of how to use the application.
While for the moment the application is available only in Algiers, a future launch is planned in the city of Oran before it is made available in cities across Algeria.