Taxi-Booking Apps Gain Popularity in Vietnam

November 8, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. network / ˈnɛtˌwɜrk / (n.) – a group of people who are connected with each other
Example: The network of taxi drivers is expanding.

2. commute / kəˈmyut / (n.) – one’s journey or trip from one place to another
Example: It’s a long commute from my home to the office.

3. convenient / kənˈvin yənt / (adj.) – comfortable or causing no trouble
Example: Having a driver is very convenient.

4. hail / heɪl / (v.) – to call someone or something
Example: The guard hailed a taxi for us.

5. boom / bum / (v.) – to grow or become successful
Example: His carwash business boomed very quickly.


Read the text below.
Taxi-booking apps for smartphones are now becoming more and more popular in Vietnam.

The two main taxi-booking apps in Vietnam are Uber and GrabTaxi. Uber is a transportation network company based in San Francisco, California. It is available in about 60 countries all over the world. GrabTaxi, on the other hand, is based in Singapore. It operates in Southeast Asian countries.

Statistics show that for 100 people, only three own cars in Vietnam, so many turn to taxi-booking apps for a better commute. Many customers find these apps convenient, especially because they can easily know who the taxi drivers are and where they are located. Using these apps also saves time, as customers no longer have to fall in line just to hail a taxi.

Because of the increasing popularity of Uber and GrabTaxi, local taxi operators in the country are thinking of setting up their own taxi-booking apps. These apps will specifically accommodate the needs of Vietnamese customers.

While these taxi-booking apps are booming in Vietnam, some countries ban or do not allow them to fully operate. Uber, for example, is having operation problems in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, and Spain.

Many taxi drivers not connected with smartphone-based taxi-booking companies also complain that they have lost many customers after these apps are launched in their countries. For instance, local taxi drivers in Canada experienced a significant decline in the number of their customers as more people switched to Uber taxis, which have cheaper rates.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What do you think about taxi-booking apps?
·         What can you say about the sentiments of the taxi drivers who are not associated with taxi-booking apps?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the common difficulties of commuters?
·         In your opinion, how can these difficulties be addressed?

November 8, 2015