The world of transportation has always been a competitive business. Getting people from point A to point B safely and quickly will always be a top priority. Mobile technology has only fueled the competitive fires both in the entrenched taxi hardware makers and the big-money TNC startups. Misinformation flourishes in the shadows so we thought it would be good to shine some light on some of the half-truths and downright lies we hear about Flywheel and taxis.
Myth 1: There’s never a taxi nearby when you need it
This myth is an unfortunate byproduct of the way taxi fleets have dispatched in the past. Before Flywheel if you needed a ride you would call a specific fleet, and they would dispatch their closest vehicle. The problem with this is that their closest car might be 15 minutes away, meanwhile, a car from a different fleet could be driving right in front of your house. Because Flywheel works with drivers from many different fleets we can provide the closest taxi for the best estimated time of arrival (ETA).
While it’s true that there will generally be fewer cabs in outer reaches of cities, there are still way more available taxis around you than you may think. By bringing together the taxi supply from multiple fleets and providing a seamless way to hail a cab Flywheel never makes you wait longer than you should.
Myth 2: Flywheel Software gives preferential treatment to certain taxi fleets
We hear this one from time to time from drivers and it’s just not true. Flywheel app hails are always offered to the closest cab regardless of fleet affiliations. The reason we don’t play favorites isn’t just because it’s the right thing to do, it’s also vital that we provide passengers with the fastest possible ETA for their ride. If we can’t get them a professional driver within a few minutes, they will choose a different service.
A lot of the confusion comes from our co-branding partnership with Flywheel Taxi. We operate completely separate from Flywheel Taxi (formerly Desoto) and made the decision to share the brand to raise awareness. Flywheel Taxi was also the first company in California to pilot our new TaxiOS platform to replace all their old hardware with a single phone and we appreciate the feedback they give us on a regular basis. There is however absolutely no favoritism in our app, because as stated before hailing the closest car and getting the passenger the fastest ETA is our number one priority.
Myth 3: Taxis are always more expensive than Uber and Lyft
I think we are all savvy enough to know that there are a lot of games you can play with pricing so we won’t spend a ton of time on this. TNCs are flush with investor money right now and have shown that they aren’t afraid to slash fares for their drivers to compete. The combination of subsidized rides and providing a sub-living wage for drivers makes for a great deal for passengers in off hours. However as many of you know, these seemingly cheap fares “surge” as much as 400% in places when you need a ride most. In these cases, taxis are the vastly more affordable option.
Our goal is to be transparent and consistent about our pricing. We work with local taxis and the regulated fares set by local governments which attempt to both protect consumers and provide drivers with a living wage.
If you have any other questions please reach out to us on twitter @flywheelnow or send us a message on Facebook.