A number of new mobile phone apps are springing up around collaborative cab calling. It’s a common scene: someone standing on the corner trying to hail a cab while handfuls pass by, already full. But most cabs probably aren’t really full, so by teaming up with someone near your street corner, you’ll save a taxi trip, get a ride sooner, use less gas, and cut your cab fare in half. One of these apps recently highlighted in GOOD Magazine’s Daily GOOD (a daily e-mail with an inspirational announcement) is called Weeels. Weeels is a New York-based app built by a team concerned with improving urban life, transportation, and the environment. The app connects users to people to share travel with, decreasing the rate and hopefully increasing the speed with which one finds a ride. You can see a video about Weeels here.
Cabulous is a San Francisco-based app whose focus is more on collaboration between potential riders and drivers. It’s available both as a web app and a mobile app (video here). Users can see nearby cabs on a map, hail them by double clicking, and track the cab’s progress in their direction. Meanwhile, the driver of the cab can track the movement of the rider, so if she decides to go 50 feet down the street to the coffee shop, the driver will know her updated location. Cabs can pay a premium to be highlighted on the map, and local businesses can pay to advertise their location on the map. So, individuals get cabs faster, cabs don’t have to deal with as many no-shows or down time, and local businesses are supported by the foot traffic generated by the app (riders don’t have to stay put after they’ve called the cab). It seems to be a win for all.