ONE UNIVERSAL APP — A BOON FOR CUSTOMERS AND CABBIES

JOHN BLISS

Hailing a cab is now easier with one single universal app on your smartphone that hails the cab that’s physically closest to you no matter where you are in any city, any country, or your favorite watering hole at home or elsewhere.  You can even flag a nearby cab with such an app on an isolated dirt road in the country where your car just ran out of gas.

It won’t matter which cab company is involved as long as the driver or his company is registered with the app.  Clearly, new technology such as this is a godsend for the travelling public who need such transportation in as timely a fashion as humanly possible with a well trained professional driver behind the wheel.

Travelers want such a service for reasons that are obvious and so do most drivers but with taxi brokers—especially large taxi companies in big cities, it is quite another story.  They are steadfastly opposed to it and it seems anything else for that matter that would benefit the customer.  They are quite content to have unwashed, ill-educated persons driving a run down rust bucket arriving two hours after the customer placed the call.  They are afraid that such technology or centralized dispatching as it’s often called will kill competition and put them out of business.

Let’s examine some of the advantages and disadvantages of such dispatching:

1: COMPETITION AND DRIVER CONTROL:

Effective competition is in reality more between drivers than cab companies themselves.

For example: A customer voices concerns to a company about a driver’s unsatisfactory service and decides not to use that company again.  She now calls a competing company in the hope of getting better service than the previous company, only to have the same miscreant driver show up at her door.  The first company fired the driver over complaints and he merely starts work with the second company.  So much for interbroker competition.

Effective driver control is undoubtedly what distinguishes good companies from bad ones but owing to the forgoing reasons, it is no guarantee of customer safety and satisfaction.

A universal app with its filtration system can easily deal with that kind of problem easily.  Such apps allow the customer, on completion of the trip to rate the driver, usually on a 5 star system.  Five stars means the customer would be glad to have that driver transport her again.  That means such a driver would be sent before others are considered if he is close enough.  A single star signifies that a drivers as described above would not be sent.

 Government regulators employ taxi inspectors who handle any and all comments about service and will investigate complaints, particularly more serious ones, and are considered peace officers.  In Calgary and most other cities simply dial 311 to voice your comments on a driver’s performance.  

2:  SETTING FARES:

Modern taxi apps can now do something else:  Calculate the fare and collect the fare in advance as other transportation modes do.

When a customer hails a cab through an app and enters his or her destination, the required fare appears on the screen and the customer then accepts or rejects the service offer prior to dispatching a cab.

Even cash and random street hails can handle such a metering method.  What’s important here is you have a happy customer with fewer incidents of taxi fraud.

It’s obvious that such technology has completely upended public transportation, particularly the taxi/limousine industry in general.  And unless the taxi industry gets into the 21st century, it will undoubtedly go the way of the dinosaur.

ProCabby is the only company that has the technology to offer the sort of services described above.  Customers don’t want their smartphone screens cluttered with numerous apps offering identical services.

The taxi industry will make a lot more money when they put the customer’s interests first and led the driver earn a respectable living.

ProCabby’s technology will achieve exactly that!

 

WHY IS IT THAT NOT ONE OF CALGARY’S BROKER OWNED TRANSFERABLE TAXI LICENSES ARE ATTACHED TO A WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE TAXI?

A 98 year old wheelchair bound person boarding a Checker Cab in Calgary.

Of the City of Calgary’s 1820 transferrable taxi licenses (often called medallions due to their value) 750 medallions are held by the three largest brokers in the city: Associated Cabs, Checker Cabs and Mayfair Taxi–but not one of these is attached to a wheelchair accessible van (WAV) for a variety of cock and bull excuses.

Excuse number 1:  Drivers don’t have pockets deep enough to invest $55,000 in such cars because there is not enough income to support such an investment.

True, but the brokers certainly do.  So why aren’t they buying the cars themselves?  An investment of $4.5 million  would add 83 cars to the fleet.  That’s enough to meet the City’s requirement of 11% of cars that are to be WAVs.

Excuse number 2:  Drivers don’t want to lease such vehicles because their cab fare income is too low relative to the lease they must pay each week.

That’s true too.  But why the hell are the taxi brokers charging them such unserious stand rents in the first place?  They can easily pay them $15 an hour or a commission of say 50% of fares earned whichever is greater after fuel is paid for and the owner pays for the carwash.

Brokers can also dispatch these cars ahead of others when vacant and allow them to park first at the airport.

It is also possible to guarantee licensed driver-owners a daily take of say $200 per 10 hour shift.

The foregoing terms would result in cab drivers seeing a move to WAV driving as a promotion with a higher income for himself and line up at the broker’s door to drive such cars.

The introduction of a centralized dispatch system would help reduce the overall capital requirements to place enough wheelchair accessible taxis on the road.

Brokers presently sublease their medallions to driver-owners at no charge.  They get from them a fixed fee called “stand rent” and that is the basis of their revenue.  The more cars a broker has the more income he earns.

If the brokers are unwilling to use their licenses to purchase WAVs as broker owned taxis then, to ensure that justice is done, The City of Calgary will have to force the issue through legislation to wit: prohibit the practice of “FREE SUBLEASING OF TRANSFERABLE PLATES” to driver owners unless the driver-owner already holds a transferable taxi license.

If taxi companies are unwilling to restructure their business model to better accommodate wheelchair bound customers and improve the incomes of cab drivers in general and WAV operators in particular, then governments must do it for them.

ProCabby:  Professional Drivers Committed to Excellence near you.  For more information go to www.procabby.com

HYBRID LICENSING OF TAXIS? OH PLEASE!

Last May 27, 2019 council, in the course of its regular session to rubber stamp the usurious increase licensing in licensing fees for cab drivers while giving ride sharing TNCs such as Uber a sizable break on such fees even had the temerity to hear administration mention the Livery Transport Service (LTS) describe their policy of Hybrid licensing.

Hybrid licensing is LTS’ policy of applying  one set of licensing fees and rules for taxi drivers while yet another far less stringent set of rules and fees for the TNCs. It simply means that Uber can have as many cars on the road as it wants while the number of taxis must remain frozen at their present level.  In other words, any increase in demand for public automobile transportation is to be reserved for Uber and no one else contrary to the Municipal Government Act.

There is absolutely nothing in the City Bylaws or Provincial legislation that allows it–so where did they get that bright idea.

It appears that council is eager to spend even more of heavily burdened taxpayers money on legal fees.

Click the link below to see for yourself how council handled the overall licensing issue.  It clearly betrays government favoritism towards Uber at the expense of traditional taxi drivers including TNC drivers.

SEE THE DEBATE HERE it’s 7.2 on the minutes.  Just click it and it will take you to that part of the video where this is discussed.