Online taxi group faring well

Mimang Phandey Ride is a taxi service group that aims to provide online services as a viable and safer alternative for commuters

SHERAB DORJI | Thimphu

If all goes well the founder of this new taxi service claims commuters will no longer have to walk to the parking lots and wait in long queues to avail themselves of taxi services.

“You don’t have to come to the taxi parking personally and can book taxi services online that will save your time and energy,” said 32- year-old Sonam Tharchen, the founder of Mimang Phandey Ride. 

“We can also help in our small way not to gather during this time of pandemic and help reduce the risks,” said Sonam, who is from Trong in Zhemgang.

The founder said he formed this group with around 15 other cab drivers with the aim to provide convenient, comfortable, and reliable taxi services, which will also include parcel delivery services.

He said the pandemic was a perfect catch to form the group as gatherings and crowding were meant to be reduced especially in taxi parking and bus stops where many people gather. 

“With our services you don’t have to wait and waste your time and energy. Rather, you can come when we are ready to move or else we will pick you on our way,” he said, adding their group will help reduce waiting time while also being safe and convenient.

The main idea for such services was inspired by other developed countries where the cab driver uses such kinds of apps which is very convenient for both parties. “Though our country won’t match them, we can do in our own way to give services to the people at the best,” he added. 

At the onset, the services will be provided in Thimphu, Phuentsholing, Samtse, Paro, Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha, Tsirang, and Gelephu. There are about 15 members as of date.

“Many of our passengers are happy with our services since they give us encouraging feedback,” he said.

Sonam adds that unlike in the past commuters will no longer have to wait for hours at the taxi stand which was tiresome and unfriendly.

On being questioned about the fare, the founder said it is as per the RSTA charges where they even give discounts too. “We give 100 discounts from 1000 per head if it is from the capital to Phuentsholing or to any destination and vice versa.”

The founder further added that to clamp down on risks associated with delivering parcels; the group will soon come up with a form that will mandate service seekers to declare the contents of the parcels and packaged goods. 

The founder gave the services to about a thousand passengers in about a year since the establishment of the taxi services which indeed was a definite contribution in a small way where his clients remarked decent thoughts on the taxi services. 

Tshenda Dorji, a passenger who once took the taxi services said, “The service is convenient because we don’t have to go to the taxi parking which makes it more reliable and moreover from gathering in the mass.”

Another commuter said though the fare charged is almost the same as any other taxi service, the service the group provided is reliable and convenient.

Passang, another commuter who availed himself of its services said that the group is doing well compared to their counterparts as the service they provide is affordable and more convenient.

Meanwhile, Sonam plans to have more members in the near future and expand his current office with some staff. He also envisages developing his own App which will further be more convenient to use in this digital era. 

For now, the bookings are made through the online page link in the Facebook page ‘Mimang Phandey Ride, Taxi Service,’ WhatsApps button, message button, and even through direct calls.