Carrie Bradshaw on “Sex and the City” showed us how strategic one must be when grabbing a taxicab. It’s not only a cutthroat business where people jump around each other to get the first cab: you can get splashed on, taken for a scenic ride if you aren’t a local, or worse, wait forever until a cab comes your way. Not to mention the occasional crime against rider or driver.
A new Israeli app rolling out in Israel, London and then Paris, Berlin, Moscow and beyond points the way for changing the century-old tradition of hailing a cab with your hand or reserving by phone call and standing around waiting.
The company GetTaxi has developed an application that can be downloaded to your mobile phone. Tap on the screen, and the request is delivered to a call center. Like watching Pac-man travel around the computer screen munching on ghosts, you can watch in real-time as your taxi approaches where you are waiting.
Simultaneously, users receive information about their driver, including picture, name, license number and ratings by other GetTaxi users.
Nimrod May, VP of marketing, says it was a matter of applying today’s technology to daily activities and old economics. “We tapped into an industry that hasn’t changed since it was established more than 100 years ago,” he points out.