MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Taxi passengers in South Florida now have an easier and better way to taxi, thanks to Flatiron Apps, LLC, which today officially launched three ZabCabTM taxi apps at press conferences in Miami and Fort Lauderdale: ZabCab for Passengers; ZabCab for Drivers; and ZabCab Front Desk for the hospitality industry and entertainment venues. (To download, visit www.zabcab.com.)
According to Martin Heikel, Flatiron’s CEO, ZabCab’s patented technology finally levels the playing field between licensed cabbies and nonprofessional drivers. “Licensed and regulated taxi drivers, who have gone through background checks, now have an easy-to-use, fully compliant smartphone app to compete with ridesharing apps,” he said. “They’ve played by the rules and can claim their place in the ridesharing age. Essentially, this technology brings the taxi industry into the 21st century.”
With one tap on a mobile phone, ZabCab for Passengers enables people to request a licensed, professional taxi driver. There is no surge pricing at peak hours and passengers can pay with cash or by credit card. Passengers also can rate the drivers. “With ZabCab, taxi passengers now can easily request a taxi and know exactly where it is and when it will arrive,” noted Heikel, who said that ZabCab is now available in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The company has plans to launch in other markets in the coming months. “But it’s not just about peak demand; we want people using ZabCab during off peak hours, too. The best part is that you don’t have to call dispatch for a cab anymore. This is much simpler. ZabCab’s technology will optimize taxi service by connecting passengers with the nearest available taxis. Connecting passengers and drivers is the future.”
ZabCab Driver, the companion app for cabbies, makes finding passengers a lot easier. “Right now, taxis don’t know where the fares are, so they cluster at the airport and wait. Passengers don’t know where the cabs are, so they call a dispatcher and wait, hoping that someone will come to pick them up. But ZabCab solves those problems,” Heikel explained. He also noted that only licensed cabbies, who are fully vetted, insured, and drive regularly inspected vehicles, are allowed to subscribe to the ZabCab service – a boon to passengers who are concerned about using ridesharing services that are unregulated. “Many women don’t feel safe getting rides home from strangers, especially at night,” Heikel said. “They now have an app that’s both safe and convenient to use, and that summons professional drivers.”
Heikel also announced today the official South Florida launch of ZabCab Front Desk, the companion taxi app designed specifically for hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses that need to call more than one cab at a time for their guests. “Hotel concierges and others in the hospitality business now can order multiple cabs, track them in the app, and let guests know when their cabs will arrive,” he said. “Hotels strive to provide their guests with a high-quality experience, but typically cringe when they need to call a cab for guests because they have no idea if and when a cab will show up. ZabCab Front Desk takes the guesswork out of the equation, helping hotels and other hospitality businesses provide better service to their guests.”
Optimizing Taxi Service
ZabCab is free for passengers and the hospitality industry to download and use. When passengers request a ride, the nearest taxi sees their location, and confirms pick up and arrival time. Best of all, there is no surge pricing with ZabCab. And anyone who has ever left a package in a taxi will be happy to know that the app has a “last driver” feature that connects passengers instantly with the driver so they can arrange to retrieve any articles left behind.
ZabCab also gives passengers something they have never had before: the ability to rate their ride. And if a driver receives just one star, ZabCab asks why. If a driver gets consistently low ratings, he or she is de-activated by ZabCab. “We want to ensure that ZabCab passengers are served only by the best licensed and regulated drivers,” Heikel explained. “Our ability to let consumers rate their rides means that drivers will have to step up their level of service. Consumers will have a voice, and this will improve the taxi business for all.”
ZabCab also optimizes the use of taxis throughout the region as it brings cabs to underserved neighborhoods and eliminates the guessing game drivers have to play to find more fares. “ZabCab connects passengers with drivers, wherever they are, whether at the beach, downtown, or in a typically-underserved neighborhood.”
“ZabCab is going to turn a lot of people in South Florida into ‘happy cabbers,’” said Heikel. “Floridians and tourists want to ride with people they trust, and that means with licensed cab drivers who know their way around. People love their smartphones and want to use them to grab a cab quickly. ZabCab is going to revolutionize the taxi experience in South Florida.”
Drivers Embrace the ZabCab Model
Hundreds of professional drivers enthusiastically have signed up to use ZabCab Driver. The ZabCab team is holding sessions to educate drivers about how best to use their ZabCab Driver app to better serve the public and to generate more business. Professional drivers can try the ZabCab Driver for free until 2016. After that, drivers can subscribe for an unlimited number of ZabCab pickups for a low per-ride flat charge of 99¢, no matter what the fare on the meter says. ZabCab is also offering a 50% discount in the first 3 months of 2016.
To date, nearly 600 licensed taxi drivers in the two counties are using the app. That number is expected to grow quickly as ZabCab passenger demand swells. “We estimate that one million people in South Florida will hear about ZabCab this month, because of our public information campaign,” Heikel said. “We are anticipating that tens of thousands of people will download and use the app immediately.