Cabbin’ it in LA: It’s Text-a-Taxi

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Photo credit to elakerfan on Flickr

I’m going to New York next week. Though I’m very much a subway girl while there, there will be a lot of taxis – and at that, ones you can hail. I doubt any of us ever instructed anybody to “hail a cab” as a means of getting around Los Angeles. Despite our best efforts, that is. But let’s get serious here. Outside the airport or hotel complete with taxi lanes, we’re most accustomed to calling one if we had planned to use a cab, at all. I don’t know about you, but I’ve experienced many a frustration with operators on the other line while trying to call one.

This Labor Day weekend might be prime time to try a new experiment. I know you’re on your phone texting your dogsitter, anyway!!

I may end up loving where I live even more (the key phrase for that would be, “central to everything”) because I just found out about a new service that makes cab service even more conducive for my friends and I to take around town. You can now text the address of your location to “777222” and GoFastCab will dispatch a cab directly to you, wherever you are in L.A. – even South Bay and Long Beach! Sweet!

After texting your address, you get a confirmation text back to you so you know they received it (and that your text didn’t get lost in outer space). If you change your mind, you can also text “CANCEL” to the same number and that will cancel your cab. If you’re wondering where your cab is before he gets to you, you can text “STATUS” for a status message back.

I think the best part about this, though, is when you’re out at the bar and not exactly sure when to cash out because you want to secure the cab you called – for fear of someone else snatching your cab from you. The service calls you when they’re outside!

GoFastCab is built upon a network of “state-approved” cab companies – which, when I looked at the list, mostly look like Yellow Cab-affiliates. This was actually a relief to me, because I had seen a report on and had first-hand experience with a certain mmh-huh cab company that used, and I bet still use, overclocked meters – much to the demise of unsuspecting tourists. (Once I questioned a blue and white cab’s metered fare, all he wanted was to get rid of me and lowered the price immediately.) But Yellow Cab I have not had problems with. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

I’m going to plan a night out on the town whereby I use this service. I’ll be anxious to report back with my camarades as well as hear feedback from you as to whether this is a worthy service or not. So save the number on your phone:

777222

Text your address, including apartment number (if applicable), city and zip code

And remember these two commands:

STATUSFind out where your cab is

CANCEL Cancel your cab

Just wait for the call from the cab company letting you know that they’re outside, ready for you.

Also – after I gave my contact a bit more inquisition about the service, I thought to inquire about the cab rates since I’m not all that familiar with what exactly is standard. So as a point of reference from Yellow Cab’s rates, you can expect a $2.85 floor charge right off the bat with $0.30 per 1/9th mile ($2.70 per mile) and another $0.30 per 37 seconds of traffic. So while I still have to take my experimental night out whereas I leave myself at the mercy of this service – I’m already guessing that I won’t change my conclusion that cabs are always better with company. Isn’t it always nice to share the bill?

Til I report back, again. Also, feel free to leave any stories – good and bad experiences – here in comments. I really want to hear everyone’s stories. Our L.A. night life may depend on it – if it’s worthy. 😉

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