Which Taxi Apps Are Worthy Of Your Business?

They have some of the most clever app names in the industry: Curb, Flywheel, Gett Taxi, Dashride. But just having creative marketing does not make these hot new taxi apps worthy of your business.

Look closely and you will find good-quality ride-share taxi apps in the market for taxicabs.

As the industry leader in taxi insurance, the team at Draco decided to take a closer look at some of the on demand taxi apps and other software options out there that might offer just the technology you’ve been looking for. (Note: We’ve been diplomatic and put them in alpha order!):

#1 Arro, the first ride-hailing app for taxicabs in New York City, launched in late August 2015 and is now also available in Boston and Chicago. According to Arro’s website, service will be coming soon to San Francisco and Washington D.C. as well as other U.S. cities. In New York, the app strategically partnered with Creative Mobile Technologies, a payment system for more than 13,000 of New York’s yellow taxis. Similar to other ride request apps, Arro offers passengers the ability to book a taxi with the tap of a button and to pay automatically. One cool feature for users is that the app allows them to use it for one-tap payments even if they are already in a cab that they hailed the old fashioned way. Arro’s competitive advantage is arrival times, where they “really crushed Uber” according to a Wall Street Journal article. In addition, Arro now offers a ride-share feature to give taxi drivers a challenger to UberPool and LyftLine. It’s a slightly more tap-intensive process for passengers, who have to enter a cab’s medallion number among other details, but the rewards are big: Customers of the ride-share Taxi App get a cheaper ride than passengers going solo, and, hallelujah, they can skip ahead to the taxi stand’s priority line. We think a lot of people will make a few extra button taps to share a cab and save money and time!

#2 Curb, formerly known as TaxiMagic, was bought by Verifone Taxi Systems (based in San Jose) in early 2016. This e-hailing app will completely replace Verifone’s former app, Way2Ride, by the end of the year with this change in ownership, the app has also received a makeover. While Curb launched with all of the same bells and whistles of Way2Ride that allow for easy e-hailing and paying for metered taxicabs, it now offers a first of its kind advance-booking feature. Curb customers also have the advantage of consistent, metered rates rather than having to deal with the confusion of surge pricing. While Verifone and Arro’s owner CMT compete to serve the payment operations and entertainment needs of NYC cabs, the two companies are allies when it comes to stimulating the taxi industry. That’s why both Curb and Arro will work in a taxi even if the rival parent company serves their other needs. In the end, this integration provides the customer with better service and lightning fast response time, no matter what the weather or time is. This makes the extra $1.95 fee passengers pay for using the taxi app to book a taxi more palatable. The new version of Curb is now available in New York, Chicago and Boston and Verifone aims to roll it out to all 65 cities in which the company operates across the U.S.

#3 Dashride Connect is the brainchild of Dashride, a provider of dispatch and reservation software as well as other proprietary technologies that improve the processes of limousine and taxi companies. Whether your company uses Dashride for their back-office software or not, the new Dashride Connect is available to your taxi/limo company. When you opt-in to Dashride Connect, you immediately have access to operators of livery companies across the world and can communicate with them to better satisfy your customers’ ground transportation needs. Essentially, Dashride has created an affiliate network for your business to help you grow revenues, increase customer satisfaction, and gain global coverage. Taxicab fleets from across the world have opted in and are now able to immediately farm out rides when drivers are too busy, and receive jobs during down times, keeping both passengers and employees satisfied. Nadav Ullman, founder and CEO of Dashride views this technology as a “game changer” that will empower longtime operators to stand up to competition from ride services like Uber and Lyft. Interested in becoming an affiliate?

#4 Flywheel, currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, and San Diego, has its own passenger app that offers the basics, like hailing the closest driver with just one button tap, regardless of taxicab company. Passengers using the Flywheel taxi app can also see exactly where their cab is and how long it’s going to be before it picks them up. Users can also choose a preferred payment method to make the ride a breeze and they can also be avoid surge pricing as Flywheel always has the same low rate every hour, every day. Customer satisfaction is high, with riders giving the app an average of 5 stars for “ease of use” and “fast reliable service” from the taxis. For taxicab companies, Flywheel provides the first all-in-one mobile software solution, Flywheel TaxiOS. This taxi software platform replaces all in-vehicle hardware, including taximeter, driver information monitor, dispatch terminal, radio, navigation and credit card processing, with a single mobile phone. In addition, this government-certified software taximeter is fully customizable to your company’s needs. TaxiOS can be installed or repaired within minutes, gives you multiple revenue options including last mile delivery and carpooling, offers flexible pricing and promotions, and, of course, integrates with Flywheel’s passenger app. For fleet management, Flywheel also has a cloud-based and interactive voice response dispatch system that can be customized for your situation and deployed in days, reducing stress on dispatchers. Advanced features include corporate accounts, advanced booking and reoccurring trips. If you’re looking for a one-stop solution, Flywheel is worth your consideration.

#5 Gett, NYC’s taxi app for black car service, not only has the sleekest website, in our humble opinion, but also the clearest message: #SURGESUCKS. Gett doesn’t take surge pricing lightly and they back up their disdain for this tactic with a Surge-Free Guarantee, that promises passengers will never pay more than their quote. Gett, the #1 app for on-demand corporate black cars, has been lauded by big-time clients such as Paramount Pictures and Sotheby’s for being “…the safest, fastest, and most reliable way to move staff around town.” Users of the Gett app have the option of booking their car service now or advance-booking up to two weeks out, tracking their driver on a map with reliable ETAs, and automatically charging the car fare to their credit card. Plus, users can earn free ride credits by sharing their unique code with friends. For drivers, Gett says it pays better than Uber, Lyft and the like. Their drivers keep 100% of tips and can earn up to $600 in signing bonuses.

#6 Samsride provides the taxi/limo industry with a platform for pre-bookings, an interactive calendar, fleet sign-ups, emails, a fare editable option, quick meter rate setting, and tracking driver routes and speed in real time. This taxi app is very flexible and customizable to your specific needs. They offer white-label or co-branding solutions, meaning their team can generate driver and passenger apps with your logo and name, so that the customer has no idea that it’s backed by Samsride. All the customer sees is a mobile app driven by your company, making your taxi business look super smart and buttoned up. Nathan Lee, co-founder of Samsride, says the goal was to create an app that can be used by both technology savvy users as well as those who need more “hand holding.” With the Samsride App, you have the option of going full throttle letting the system do everything for you, or if you prefer a more hands-on approach, the app allows you to physically go in and easily change parameters. This savvy technology also understands the different regulations and rules that each city or state has to follow. As today’s customers move away from web booking and calling for a ride, an app like Samsride is a fast, effective, and proven way to bridge the gap between the old way and the new way.

The Taxicab App World Has Arrived!

If our research illuminated one thing it was that on demand is no longer just for the Ubers and Lyfts of the world. And we in no way want to represent that the taxi apps we’ve explored above are the only ones out there; in fact, the app world moves so quickly, we’re sure tomorrow there will be an even longer list of options. For those in the taxi/limo industry, it’s all great news! You now have the opportunity to access extremely intelligent software technology that will empower you to take your businesses to the next level and beyond. The Draco Insurance team looks forward to surfing the apps of the future with you.

To read our blog on “How to Choose the Best Taxi App for Your Company” click HERE.

Welcome to the Draco Insurance Blog

Many people have asked us, why we named our company Draco Insurance? There’s actually a very interesting meaning that we hope gives insight as to the type of company we are. Our founder is a black belt in Uechi Ryu and Kenpo, both forms of karate. Through his years of training he developed a passion for dragons. “Draco” is the Latin word for dragon and “Draco the Dragon” is actually a constellation of stars found in the northern sky.

There are several wonderful Greek mythological stories about this dragon. However, the one we most identify with is the story that depicts Draco with 100 heads and as the guardian of the golden apple tree in the garden of Hera. As the story goes, Draco the Dragon was put in the sky as a constellation for showing extreme valor in protecting the apples.

Now how did we get from a Dragon in the midnight sky to Draco Insurance? It’s quite simple actually; we, the Draco team, think of ourselves as your guardians in the transportation industry, protecting your business and your livelihood from everyday hazards.

We know yours is a 24/7 world, and that you always have vehicles on the road that are susceptible to a variety of business disruptions. It takes hard work and dedication to keep your business running smoothly, and you deserve the same from you insurance partner. That’s why we are adding a monthly blog as a resource you can turn to for important industry information and creative solutions to some of your more difficult problems.

With more than 25 years of experience insuring public transportation vehicles, Draco is well aware that the public transportation sector is in the middle of a seismic shift. New questions and challenges arise everyday related to safety, network inefficiencies, and road congestion and quality, just to name a few of today’s hot topics. All of these challenges need to be addressed in a marketplace where technology is taking over, new TNCs enter daily, and autonomous vehicles for public and private transit are on the frontier.

All of these changes are dramatic ones for a once relatively stable transportation industry. From small owner operators to large fleet operations, it’s increasingly difficult for managers to keep up with all of these shifts and trends, plus decide how to react to them. However, it’s business critical that you do.

Enter Draco, your insurance partner, and our new blog. It is our company’s mission to guard our clients’ businesses and their livelihood, and so we are launching this informative platform where you will be able to find monthly updates on the industry’s most timely topics and how, or if, you should act on them.

Each month, the Draco team will share our knowledge with you here along with industry news, safety tips and useful information that will benefit you by helping you run your business more efficiently. Thank you for reading, visiting and being part of this ongoing discussion.*

*Please do not post any private information in this public forum.