Ride-hailing services, which have been allowed to operate in Tokyo and some other areas in Japan since April, have been used more frequently than traditional taxis so far, a transport ministry report has shown.

As of last Sunday, ride-hailing services, which use personal vehicles to offer paid rides, had been used a total of 12,628 times in five areas. In the 23 wards of central Tokyo, the hourly usage rate for such services was double that of taxis.

Ride-hailing services are "beginning to have certain effects as a mode of transportation," transport minister Tetsuo Saito said during a news conference Friday, while noting that it is still too early to judge the services.

Ride-hailing services were launched in the Keihin area including Tokyo and the neighboring cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki, both in Kanagawa Prefecture, and the western city of Kyoto by mid-April, and in the central city of Nagoya, the capital of Aichi Prefecture, and the resort town of Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, later that month.

The hourly usage rate for ride-hailing services came to about 1.5 in Tokyo, 0.8 in Kanagawa and 1.3 in Aichi, compared with about 0.7 for taxis nationwide.