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The cabFLARE Story

The Taxi and For-Hire Vehicle market continues to undergo significant technological advancement. With green initiatives, ride sharing pilots, and lots of regulatory changes.

While some conveniences have arrived, such as credit card payments, live maps and in-cab entertainment for passengers, we found that a few major players control vast portions of in-car equipment and communications subjecting drivers and owners to hefty added costs while providing those same drivers and owners little to no increase in business or profitability.

Contrary to many of the vendors profiting from these initiatives, and to our surprise, all of this added technology has done little to nothing to assist drivers in finding a fare or consumers in finding a taxi.

cabFLARE’s beta is an experiment to see if both drivers and consumers alike can find a happy common-ground where drivers can locate nearby fares and consumers get the nearest available vehicle...period. Our research shows that this would disrupt the decades old adage that you cannot reduce cruising time without reducing availability. This disruption alone would be extremely “green”.

Implemented as a mobile web application, cabFLARE does not require personal information or registration from the consumer. Drivers do need to register with cabFlare in order to respond to consumer requests. cabFLARE does not require access to your contacts, phone state, or other personal data on your device, unlike many other mobile apps. cabFLARE also offers users the added feature of using their Twitter credentials to allow the service to update them when a driver responds and is on their way.

We do require that your mobile device and browser supports geo-location services (GPS) and javascript. cabFlare has been tested using Apple’s iOS v3.2.x and higher, Google’s Android v2.2.x, and RIM’s OS v6.x, devices.

While the cabFLARE beta is designed to truly mimic the notion of hailing a taxi, the solution has been built out to enable traditional future bookings, as well as centralized dispatch. These and other features are immediately available for fleet owners.

cabFLARE’s beta applies the KISS principle. Keep It Simple, Sherlock (well, you know what we mean). Any solution can be easily over-engineered. Let’s just see how this resonates, first.

Lastly, we kindly ask for your help in spreading the word. Especially to drivers, since this experiment will fail miserably if nobody is monitoring the sky. Thanks for your interest and with your help, we hope to serve you one day soon.

- Team cabFLARE

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Taxi Drivers Need a Break - cabFLARE empowers.

We recently polled a bunch of Taxi drivers from across the country and asked "Why Are Drivers Slow to Adopt New Mobile Apps?"

Here is what we found.

They are tired of getting ripped off by others.
cabFLARE is free. cabFLARE is self-service. cabFLARE empowers.

The vast majority of drivers do not have smart phones.
This is changing as new smart phone prices are now below $50 and the refurbished market is booming. Since cabFLARE is a mobile web application, it provides the most flexibility when choosing your smart phone - it just needs a location-aware browser that supports javascript - regardless of make or model.

Drivers are concerned with no shows.
As they should be. cabFLARE is the only solution that minimizes the chance of a no show by providing a timed, direct referral service for each driver. Each cabFLARE only lasts for 5 minutes and the destination of the fare, and the distance the driver is from the fare are all displayed to the driver when a cabFLARE is detected nearby.

Told by “boss” not to use them, or that they don’t work.
Oppression sucks. cabFLARE allows you to see for yourself - free - without downloading an app to your smart phone that snoops around gathering your personal information whenever it wants. cabFLARE is the only “Driver Friendly” solution.

Apps are difficult to use.
Drivers can register to use cabFLARE in minutes. Using cabFLARE is as easy as logging in and pressing a button to Start Monitoring for cabFLAREs - all in less than a minute. Consumers can launch a cabFLARE in under a minute as well - why not do it, it’s free.

Apps drain my smart phone’s battery.
cabFLARE is the only app that does not require a constant connection to the internet broadcasting your GPS location - which is the reason your batteries drain so fast when using other apps. cabFLARE only connects when you are logged in and monitoring for nearby cabFLAREs. You can remain logged in without any transmission of your GPS location simply by stopping the monitor - which happens automatically when you accept a fare through cabFLARE.

No customers in my city are using it, why should I?
The typical supply an demand conundrum. It takes only minutes to register to use a completely free cabFLARE. It will take you less than a minute to login and monitor the sky for your next fare whenever your car is empty. Doing this 10 times a day, uses up 10 minutes of your time - but tells us you are watching - in which we will tell your community. Spread the word among drivers and customers, alike. Pretty soon, everyone is using it and everyone will benefit. It has to start with you, the driver. Grass roots, community effort, control your destiny.

The data plan needed for my smart phone costs too much.
All of the other apps constantly transfer boatloads of data to support their pretty images on the drivers’ and fares’ smart phones. Our research shows that the consumer simply wants a car to show up and the driver simply wants to quickly find his next fare. The pretty images do not help to solve either of these problems. cabFLARE does - without passing a lot of data around. We are confident that cabFLARE will use less data than any other app on the market - making cabFLARE the least cost alternative for all.

The apps are just another piece of the dispatch system.
If you are working through dispatch, then your earnings are at the mercy of the dispatcher. cabFLARE is the only solution that breaks the chains of dependency by providing a free, timed, direct referral service for each driver. Use cabFLARE in addition to your dispatch service to increase your earnings. Discover new business just around the corner that your dispatcher may never see.

Using the app will violate rules in my city.
cabFLARE is the only app that can be used in any city. As a free, timed, direct referral service, we have not found any rules or regulations that prohibit the use of cabFLARE.