These days, there are a ton of options when it comes to getting from point A to B without your car. With cabs representing the old guard, alternative Smartphone start-ups such as Uber (including UberX), Lyft and Sidecar are giving taxis a good run for their money – usability, competitive pricing, driver competence and friendliness not withstanding.
The taxi industry tried unsuccessfully to shut them out of business, and California’s Public Utilities Commission adopted rules last September on regulating these new companies. With L.A. also trying to get a hand in on regulation, it’s clear that the new services are operating on new battleground. This is all interesting, of course, but it doesn’t really play a part in what service I use. I just want a quick pick-up, ride at a great rate and a friendly, competent driver. And I want a free market to drive the realization of this.
(Yeah, plus free $20 code for new Flywheel users after the jump. –>)
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!