Ride hailing app inDriver has launched in Johannesburg, with 3 000 new drivers already registered on the app.

The bargain for a fair price taxi app, used by 22-million people across more than 200 cities, announced its launch with the addition of a new safety button for both riders and drivers.

Launched in Cape Town earlier in the year, the app’s Real Time Deal (RTD) model allows passengers to set their own fare for their chosen route. Nearby drivers who receive notice of ride requests have three choices – accept the fare offered, ignore the offer or bargain for a higher price.

“We want to give the power of setting prices back into the hands of passengers and drivers by countering price surging used by other ride-hailing companies,” says inDriver spokesperson Rifqa Carr. Passengers using the app pay on average 20% to 30% less than with other services. While pre-approved rates in the app are used to guide users – the final fare is set by the passenger and driver in a real-time negotiation.

Suited to longer commutes, the more affordable platform for passengers also benefits drivers, with 0% commission charged for the first few months. “Drivers have the freedom to choose whichever ride request they like, without any risk of being penalised. They’re also able to see the full fare, from point A to point B, and can then decide if they want to accept the request – or not,” says Carr.

With inDriver, drivers are not automatically assigned to riders. Once the counteroffers are in, passengers select the most suitable driver in line with what categories are most important to them – fare, driver rating, estimated time of arrival or vehicle model. In addition, both parties can share their GPS location in real time from the app with trusted contacts. Cutting out transaction fees and other costs associated with higher commission rates, payment is cash only.

The concept started on a Russian social network, with a group of taxi riders who objected to price surges when temperatures dropped below minus 45-degrees Celsius. In just six months, more than 60 000 people had joined the group – which soon became an app that has proven highly adaptable for a diverse collection of markets across Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa. Following successful launches in Tanzania and South Africa, inDriver aims to aims to grow their footprint in the African market.