EL SEGUNDO (CBSLA.com) — A mobile app for taxis, similar to the increasingly popular ride-sharing apps and being used by most Taxi companies in LA, was put to the test.
“Taxi Magic” claims it has the same features as ride-sharing services, and local taxi companies say the app will reverse a recent trend in which companies like Uber and Lyft have taken large percentages of their business.
“We’d love to have the passengers back,” Yellow Cab General Manager William Rouse said. “We encourage them to give the app a try.”
Rouse says the app has improved a number of factors to re-establish Yellow Cab in the market.
“What it’s done is speed the dispatch process, it’s improved communications between the driver and the passengers, and it has made payment basically instantaneous,” Rouse said.
The app essentially allows the user to order a cab from your smartphone, track it, and pay from a saved credit card.
“This enables customers to not only have all those conveniences, but then to also know that the vehicle is ensured, that driver’s background-checked, that the vehicle is inspected,” Rouse said. “And none of those things are present with the so-called ride-sharing services.”
Uber maintains they have expanded their commercial coverage, and that they have background checks of up to seven years.
CBS2’s Serene Branson put the Taxi Magic app to the test, requesting a cab over a smartphone while in a shopping center in Manhattan Beach with the destination of Hawthorne.
An automated recording called the phone, saying that the driver had arrived. However, the driver was unable to find her in the parking lot.
After finding the driver, the one-mile drive was not metered, as the driver said the ride was too short, and estimated the fare at five dollars.
Rather than a message saying she had been charged, a message appeared saying that the taxi had been cancelled.
Branson then returned to her original spot in the Manhattan Beach shopping center, and requested the same pickup and destination over the Uber app.
The Uber driver found her after calling her directly, and charged her $3.96.