CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’ve ever tried to hail a taxi at rush hour to no avail, you’re in luck: A new smart-phone app will hook you up with a cab, even if it’s in use.
“It always frustrated me when I really needed a cab and there were just no open cabs to be found,” Dan Fedor tells CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole. “Cab after cab would go by me, typically with one person in it.”
So, Fedor came up with the app Taxi Share Chicago.
Click through and you’ll find maps with locations of other users who are looking for shared rides to certain destinations. Users then text each other to make the sharing arrangements.
Gerasole gave it a try, and it worked. The map showed that someone named Jen was waiting up the street for a ride. CBS 2 picked her up at Lou Mitchell’s restaurant.
Rashid Temuri is a high-tech cabbie who has used the system. He says it shows him where potential customers are.
But he admits some colleagues want nothing to do with it.
“They’re skeptical about losing business,” Temuri says.
Commissioner Rosemary Krimbel of the Department of Business Affairs believes at rush hour it will actually put more people in the same taxi, which will generate more revenue for them.
“The entire concept is based on spontaneity, the need to get a cab when there are no open cabs to be found,” Fedor says.
Taxi Share Chicago uses data from city websites to help create the app. Right now, it’s available only on Droid phones, and there are about 2,000 registered users. Next month, it becomes iPhone accessible and even more will be able to register.