Johannesburg - Violence between metered taxi drivers and their Uber counterparts could well be a thing of the past now that meter taxi drivers have officially joined the digital age.

Last week the first batch of meter taxi drivers registered with new cab-hailing app, Yookoo Rider, took to Johannesburg’s roads. The locally based app connects users with hundreds of metered cab drivers around the country.

The move indicates a shift from physical confrontations between metered taxi drivers, who are losing market share, and Uber. In July an Uber driver died from his injuries after his car was set alight near Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria.

Former Kaizer Chiefs player Kenny Niemach, left, applies Yookoo signage to a metered taxi sign-up. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso / ANA

While only a handful of metered taxi drivers have been registered thus far with Yookoo Rider, more than 180 000 vehicles are expected to partner with the locally based app. Earlier in 2017, the SA Meter Taxi Association admitted the need to embrace technology to compete with other cab-hailing apps.

Yookoo Rider CEO Kenny Niemach believes that metered taxis finally have the technology to compete with other cab-hailing apps in the country.

“When we developed the app," he said, "we weren’t looking to revolutionise the industry, but rather put the South African Meter Taxi Association on par and give it the technology to fight against competitors such as Uber and Taxify.”

Niemach urged the government to help it with funding to facilitate the training of metered taxi drivers.\

Saturday Star