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Get Taxi & their business model

Get Taxi launched over 18 months ago now and have still yet to have a significant impact on the London Taxi App market even though initially they had more financial backing than their biggest rival.

Get Taxi launched to the driver with their “Driver Box” and a list of promised updates including Sat Nav and other things to be added to the box.

It is true that Get Taxi have had their problems, the first being the Driver Box which to be brutally honest was cheap and nasty, kept crashing and losing connection, had its power inlet in totally the wrong position for siting in the Taxi and had a really bad screen. Also they only seem to have 1000 of the initial driver boxes which limited the number of drivers that Get Taxi could sign up, this was also compounded by the problems with these boxes and replacements having to be sent out to drivers on a regular basis which further reduced the number of drivers that could be on Get Taxi.

Late in November I was invited to go and take a look at Get Taxis proposed new terminal and software, the funny thing was they did not have a terminal available to show us so instead showed us a presentation of the proposed software on a computer. The new software looked very good and more user friendly than that on the old Driver Box, we were also advised of a list of promised updates once again including Sat Nav, Free Wifi through the new terminal and other updates. Those of us who there were asked for our opinions and input on the new proposed software, we all offered our suggestions and were told that they would be considered and implemented if Get Taxi felt that would enhance the service to both the drivers and the passengers.

One of the things that I stated regulalry detered me from accepting any jobs was the distance that the jobs were from me and the five minutes free waiting time that Get Taxi state they give their customers but infact Get Taxi give the customers nothing, it is the drivers who give the passengers 5 minutes free waiting time which from discussions with other drivers is probably the most disliked part of both of the major Apps.I was told that the hailing range of jobs offered would be looked into and that they had no intention of getting rid of the 5 minutes free waiting time but would implement a minimum fare policy instead.

I was also one of the first drivers to be offered the new terminal for the trial, I have found the terminal to be reliable and quite a good interface which is user friendly and simple and effective but the problem of job offers being too far away is still there. Last night I was not offered a job under 1100 metres away from me and most were over 2000 metres away with the worst being 4200 metres away from me. Obviously Get Taxi have not listened to what the drivers have to say. There is no point in offering drivers jobs that far away as it is a waste of the drivers time and also the customer is left waiting hanging on, it would be far better for the customer to get a message saying there are no taxis available at the moment rather than them being kept hanging only to be let down in the end anyway.

Get Taxi have also announced this week and change in their pricing structure and the fact that they will be doing away with the minimum fare policy, this has come as no surprise as it was obviously costing Get Taxi a substantial amount of money. When a discussion ensued on Twitter regarding the changes drivers were informed “the box is free so use it as you please”

This brings into question Get Taxis whole business model? What is the in giving drivers an Android Tablet with no restrictions on use, surely this policy must be costing Get Taxi a vast amount of money. Most drivers nowdays have some form of smart phone either Android or iPhone so surely it would have been far better to offer a software download for those drivers and only give the Android Tablets out to those drivers who do not posses such a device. Come to think of it why did it need to be a tablet? Surely a cheap Android phone would have done the same job and been cheaper to buy in?

Get Taxis while operation seems to be an expensive way of achieving what others are doing a lot cheaper, they appear to want to be a Taxi App while at the same time a Radio Circuit!

They still have yet to implement a useable credit card payment gateway, surely spending money of credit card acceptance would have been better than buying in thousands of terminals that a lot of drivers rarely switch on?

Why do away with the minimum fare? If implemted in the correct way it would not cost Get taxi a penny! Even Addison Lee have a minimum fare structure for their passengers which I am told is 13.60 so even if a minimum fare of 10.00 was introduced for the customer of a night it would not cost Get Taxi anything.

I think Get Taxi seriously need to look at their operation very carefully if they want to be a player in the Taxi App market, so far they have shown a total lack of understanding of our trade and really need to take advice from drivers rather than those who have never driven a Taxi in London otherwise it will not be long before Get Taxi become the first casualty of the Taxi App race.

Great Traffic Planning

We are all too aware of the ongoing works that necessitate the closure of Blackfriars Underpass on a regular basis as was the case on Friday 22nd March. Usually Fleet Street offers an alternative route when the underpass is shut but on Friday to everyone’s amazement Fleet Street was also subject to some major roadworks which meant there were temporary traffic lights in operation at the junction of Fetter Lane.

As you can imagine the traffic along Fleet street was terrible and stayed that way for most of the night.

Where is the management and coordination of road works and closures that we were promised when we initially voted to have a Mayor in London?

Where is the common sense to have road works on 2 major routes through the City of London?

TfL are supposed to coordinate and stop this sort of thing from happening, I realise that Fleet Street comes under the City of London but surely they talk to each other and one or the other could have put of their works until next weekend and they could alternate the works but I suppose that is too easy.

It does seem these days that the authorities have no concern for the general public when organising such works, you might even come to the conclusion they they even try to create as much disruption for road users as possible as to deter them from driving into London.

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