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System Flexibility, On and Off the Meter

Tembisa: system flexibility

In and around Johannesburg with the frog crew for a few days, before heading into the field – clients to meet, research plan to flesh out, a ground crew to onboard. A lovely, subtle transaction dynamic with 2 taxis from the airport – the first taxi driver turns on the meter, the second driver follows agreeing to receive payment on the first’s meter – one transaction on the books, the other off.

The ‘negotiate your own taxi fare’ dynamic is alive and well around the globe – no better illustrated than in Tehran where taxis are installed with meters that support up to 4 separate passenger fares – and are promptly ignored by passengers who prefer to negotiate a better deal, based in part where the other passengers are heading.

The common assumption for the future perfect is that larger volumes of a wider variety of data – such as more granular positioning (think cars fitted with AGPS) will narrow the opportunity for slicing a little something off the side – yet, similar data sources – such as the published meter-cost-per-trip could provide enough assurance for passengers who would otherwise insist on the meter to do without. It’s a new world out there – everything is still up for grabs.