Travel Agent NewsNew SmartRyde marketplace will help taxi operators throw away the pen and paper.

TAXI! A smoother ride for airport transfers

SmartRyde will allow airport transfer to be arranged, even at the last minute.
SmartRyde will allow airport transfer to be arranged, even at the last minute. Photo Credit: Adobe Stock/Kittiphan

Airport taxi and limousine rides – which have largely remained outside global reservation systems – are being steered onto a new platform that will benefit travel agencies, airlines and their customers.

Tokyo-based SmartRyde has taken the wraps off a new product, Demand Partner API, which will allow OTAs and airlines connected to this API (Application Programming Interface) to access airport transfer networks worldwide and offer customers transfer services alongside hotel reservations and flight bookings.

“This is expected to increase their profits,” says Sota Kimura, CEO and founder of SmartRyde, which has raised approximately JPY 450 million (US$3.36m) from venture capitalists (VCs), which it will use to expand corporate functions and bolster business teams.

The SmartRyde marketplace will provide pre-booked airport transfer services to more than 700 airports worldwide, services which the company says, will be “reasonable, safe and reliable”.

SmartRyde says vehicle allocation systems and methods of inventory management have “remained unchanged in the taxi and limousine industry for a long time”, said Kimura.

“Most of mid/small taxi operators in Asia are still using pen and paper or Excel. So they cannot manage when/how many vehicles are available in real time.

“If this is solved, tourists will be able to book airport transfers, even at the last minute.”

Kimura said SmartRyde also aims to support domestic taxi operators by providing them with new value, “including streamlining and cost reduction”.

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