I must admit I use UBER & LYFT all the time, they are cheaper & usually friendlier than many of the regular taxi’s I have ridden in. They are convenient & the no hassle apps are just dandy. I no longer have to wait over 30 minutes for a Taxi that may or may not come. No more calling a taxi company back asking wheres my taxi?
But lately I have noticed this peak hour thingy appearing more often when I want to take a ride to or from work. I work in the Inner Sunset, I live in Nob Hill. A regular Taxi is $15 appox before tip, a ride share is around $12 with tip included, that price is during NON peak hours. Now I never really worried about the increase until one morning after a ride from the Sunset to my home when I opened a email receipt from UBER detailing my ride & I was taken aback by the cost. It was almost $30 for a ride that normally costs $12, that is almost three times the going rate. LYFT are no better they have increased their TIP to 200% during peak times, siting enticement for more drivers? But when I open both apps there are at least eight cars in my immediate neighborhood. So what gives?
I am getting the impression that these ride share companies are preying on the fact that we the ride share users are just to lazy to check our statements, which makes sense, since we use these companies because of the no hassle features.
So I decided to try Yellow Cabs free app, now its no UBER or LYFT but I wanted to try it anyway. I booked my ride, it showed where my Taxi was & one minute before it arrived, I get a auto phone calling telling me my cab is a minute away. I still have to pay with cash or by credit card via the driver. (Yes miraculously the credit card machines now work) Because of the onslaught of the ride shares taxi drivers now keep their radios on, cellphones on dash & are actively using there GPS booking systems, they have no choice. It’s call competition, something that was badly needed.
Now heres how TAXI companies can gain the advantage over the ride shares. While Yellows app is a good start its still way off the mark if they think people will start flocking back to regular old taxis.
1. Every licensed TAXI company in the bay need to combine resources & create a single app that users can download for free & use to book any taxi in the immediate are, no matter what company that is. (They can keep their individual phone numbers but when it comes to app booking, consider it like me waiving the first free taxi that drives by)
2. The app needs to be based on the proven record of the current ride share apps. Their shit works, there is no getting round this.
3. Payment and user details must be incorporated in this app, remember we are lazy.
4. The app must have a tip calculator, from 10% to 20% or the rider can just tip in cash.
5. The app must show ALL taxis on a map of my hood, when I book I want to see my taxi getting to my location within 5 minutes, just like the current ride shares.
6. Taxis on any given day outnumber ride shares, so use this, there is power in numbers, if I see a map of say Nob Hill & there are 50 Taxis apposed to 8 ride shares, guess who wins?
7. Taxi drivers need to be educated that they are no longer the only ride in town, they have competition & need to start acting like they are fighting for business, this is a service industry, they need to get off their phones, be courteous to their clients & drum up more business.
8. Taxi companies need to promote their numbers and boast the fact that you the rider are fully insured in a licensed cab.
Taxi companies are now realizing that they have lost a substantial amount of business to ride share companies, as individuals they have no chance competing but if they united & all use ONE app then they will garish some of that trade back. Think about it, NO user is going to have several taxi apps for each taxi company, again, we are too lazy.
I for now will continue to use UBER & LYFT but not during peak hours, I will continue to use Yellows app during non peak hours. Lets hope the bay areas Taxi companies get it together & show the rest of the country how to compete against the ride share onslaught!