limo service

UberCab

If you’ve ever wanted to roll in style, UberCab seems to be the way to go. It’s a new iPhone app that beckons a limo, Towncar, or Escalade for you. It seems utterly (uberly?) simple to use, so much so that there’s really not much to say here. With the touch of a finger, a car comes your way. With one more touch of a finger, you pay. All this for about 1.5 times the cost of a regular-old-run-of-the-mill cab that you have to actually call. Sheesh! Check it out. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3wk4kem54k&w=425&h=344]

-Terra Curtis

Fare/Share NYC

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nz3BmxLdWU&w=440&h=385] The concept of mobile carpooling and ride-shares are nothing new. Las week alone, we highlighted Cabulous and Weels on this platform. But, we've also seen, that the success of these platforms and services are often directly related to the number of users because you can't share a ride when there isn't another user around.

That's why I'm keen to see the splash when a new, FREE, application makes when it hits NYC in a few weeks. From numbers provided by the New York Taxi & Limousine Commision, we know that 69% of cab rides transport single patrons while one in four cab rides within the city could potentially be shared. Clearly there is a latent need for such a service in this city.

Even better, the application design seems to be pretty good. It features one-click ride requests, fare calculations, identification by photo or apparel, PayPal integration and a rating system. For increased safety, Fare/Share allows users to rate travelling companions after each trip and offers gender-specific riding requests. And, best of of all, the technology helps divide the cab cost based on the distance travelled by each rider, suggesting payment amounts that make sure riders don’t end up paying for the few extra blocks travelled by their companions.

Weeels, Cabulous

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.