Road Testing the Newest Wave in Taxi Hailing Apps
Rob Pegoraro The Atlantic
Internet-linked phones have been changing the way we travel through big cities for some time now. Mobile sites and apps combined with GPS allow us to see real-time arrival estimates for trains and buses. If your city has bike-share, you can even use your phone to find out just how many bikes are in the nearest station. But for so long, taxis seemed to lag behind. Hailing a cab has until recently involved either a phone call or a raised hand.
That's finally changing. For years, Alexandria, Virginia's Taxi Magic was the only major online option, but the San Francisco-based sedan-booking service Uber has since begun to branch into a lower-cost traditional taxi service, and Hamburg's myTaxi has also recently launched in the United States.
Conveniently enough, all three options now compete in my city, Washington, D.C.-a city that, until 2008, subjected taxi passengers to a perplexing zone-fare system that earned nationwide scorn.