The CabEasy model has been done before in other industries with great success. Instead of explaining exactly what we do and why we know it can and should be done, something i have done countless times before on this blog, i think it may ring truer if i let examples of other models do the talking for me.
Here’s an example of the most successful price transparent transportation platform out there. By allowing users to name their own price, this company has cornered the market on do it yourself air travel . Market cap: $38 Billion
Here’s an example of a company that identified a fragmented market place, mostly comprised of single owner businesses that really had no idea of how to unlock the potential of an online audience. This company figured out that organizing and centralizing the process of reserving a table at a given restaurant could be done through a single portal which served both the customer’s interests as well as those of the restaurant owners. Market cap: $1.4 Billion
Here is a company which understood that simply the act of organizing an otherwise an unwieldy, unnavigable and inefficient universe, was all they needed to do to get the keys to the kingdom. Market cap: $292 Billion
Then there is the nature of the opportunity itself. Time and time again, the most stable paths to success have been ones that understood which way the wind was blowing and instead of either trying to fight the breeze or even more boring, take the same tack as the guys before them, the winners found a new path, navigating the same headwind but charting a slightly different course. Think HenryFord, think George Washington Carver, think Bill Gates. Today’s challenge for taxi booking apps is how best to navigate the multitude of taxi regulations from market to market while still providing a service that customers are familiar with — And doing it in a way that does not completely destroy the current small business operations that have historically done a good job of delivering the core service of taxi cab transportation.
CabEasy is all of these ideas in one. It is seeks to transform a market by offering a compelling strategy for achieving price transparency and thus more participation from consumers. It seeks to organize a fragmented market by centralizing and upgrading the communication network for both customers and business owners alike, much in the same way OpenTable has organized the business of restaurant reservations . CabEasy is focused on the issue of organizing an already present, yet inefficient marketplace, by making the process of finding the best local taxi cab services a one stop shop experience for the user. And, it intends to do this by working within the current laws and regulations, seeking to improve the current business atmosphere, not threaten small business owners with upending the model that has served the interests of both riders and transportation providers for so long.
If you are interested in learning more and/or interested in getting involved in helping us grow this platform, simply send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking for innovative people who are ready to help us build the next Billion dollar company.
NEW YORK — People don’t have to use their hands to hail New York City cabs anymore — now there’s an app for that.
Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said Friday that Uber Technologies Inc. has been selected to make e-hailing services available to people looking for cabs. He says Uber will facilitate the e-hails in a one-year pilot program. Yassky says several other companies are seeking city approval to provide e-hailing services.
A judge Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed mainly by livery cab owners, allowing a city plan to experiment with the e-hailing system to see whether it leads to a dearth of cabs or other problems.
Car service owners say e-hailing unfairly blurs a legal line between yellow and livery cabs, which are barred from picking up passengers on streets and depend on prearranged rides.
Over two years ago, we reported on CabCorner’s discussions with several of the finalists in NYC’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” competition. Unfortunately, none of our partners were selected, thereby denying our cab-sharing system a city-sponsored introduction into the taxis themselves.
However, it’s nonetheless satisfying to see New York’s program finally come to fruition with the arrival of the winning design. This Earth Day, let’s give the future something to be proud of. Cross your fingers and hope the Taxi of Tomorrow becomes the Cab of Today.
The most obvious utility that taxis provide is transportation to and from locations of interest. They are viewed as quick and efficient modes of transportation for the individual and thus are often used by small groups or individuals to get to a destination that is often beyond reasonable walking distance from their point of origin. However, a less obvious function of this industry, but one that is arguably more important to society on the whole, is that taxis are a tremendous multiplier for many other industries and businesses, and none more so than retail and food service related businesses. In the case of bars and restaurants, taxis not only facilitate the process of getting to and from these locations, the fact they exist makes the business of retail more lucrative for their owners. It allows those businesses to experience higher levels of patron traffic, serve more alcohol, have patrons stay later into the evening, as well as making the option to go to these locations simply a matter of want, devoid of having to figure out the practical question of how. Encouraging this kind of behavior, particularly in areas where revitalization is high on the list of local priorities, attracting and retaining potential customers for longer periods time, helps businesses grow and neighborhoods flourish.
CabEasy is a utility that enhances the power of this already upstream magnifying business by offering a way for these businesses to increase the velocity of this virtuous cycle. As a platform that seeks to find its users the best, most affordable and most convenient taxis in a given area, Cabeasy offers these businesses a way to reinforce the utility of taxis by engaging the patrons of those businesses via their mobile devices, while they are still at the location. This action presents business owners with the opportunity to demonstrate their interest and care in helping their patrons get home or to their next destination, safely and quickly. As a bridge between the taxis and the patrons, a partnership between CaBeasy and business owners can offer ways to encourage greater use of taxis, which can have positive effects on places where parking may be limited, or places that are potentially liable for the actions of an intoxicated driver who may have just left their establishment, or simply as means by which businesses can offer incentives through discounts and coupon codes to patrons who make their way to and from these locations using taxis.
Andrew Yawitz, a leading business owner, and operator of the Gramaphone in St. Louis, had this to say about CabEasy, “As a music venue operator, I see huge upside in partnering with Cabeasy in order to give our customers easy access to transportation to and from The Gramophone. As the director of The Grove Merchants association, I am very interested in working with Cabeasy to develop a neighborhood wide initiative to help bring people to The Grove in cabs. As our neighborhood continues to become a more popular destination, we are already experiencing a parking supply crunch and increasing the number of customers that use cabs will greatly help to alleviate that pressure. As an added benefit, working with Cabeasy would have positive public relations outcomes because it would illustrate that the owner operators of The Grove care about the safety and well being of our customer base.”
In the weeks ahead, there are some interesting meetings to take note of. In particular, the discussions that will take place between the TLC of New York and a few prominent taxi cab hailing app companies at events like “Disrupt NY 2013″, may very well have long term implications for the broader e-hailing market and the types of experience users will come to view as routine. For more information, click here.
We are clearly at a point of great disruption within the taxi cab industry. And the tip of this spear is none other than the device that many of us already have, and soon all of us will have, the smart phone. Even if you don’t plan on picking one up anytime soon, or you don’t like using apps or browsing the web on your smart phone, there are disintermediate solutions, which allow users to send simple text message to initiate an e-hail. By now, for most of us this isn’t breaking news, however, what might not be as obvious is that the old model of cab dispatching, which relies on a home base intermediary to relay information from potential riders to drivers in cars, is gravely threatened by the presence and use of e-hailing apps, where a driver can communicate directly with a potential rider using the application. And what’s more, as it currently exists, most drivers rely on the dispatch center not just for instructions as to where to pick up passengers, but also for the cab they are driving, given that most dispatch operations are also the owners of the cab fleet to which they dispatch information. Most drivers lease cars from the dispatch center, sometimes on a daily rate, sometimes on a weekly rate, and thus, no matter how little or great the demand for private taxis are on a given day, the dispatch owner is guaranteed a steady and predictable cash flow. By combining the leverage of lead generation (centralized dispatch driven business) with the means of production (the cab), the phrase “in complete control” comes to mind when describing the relationship between the dispatch owners and their drivers. However, if you threaten or remove the fact that drivers are wholly dependent on the dispatch center for ride leads, the next domino to fall is the driver’s need to lease a car from that very same dispatcher. The great democratization of the cab industry, though a bit of hyperbole when phrased that way, will be lead by the actions and success of applications that are focused on providing e-hailing solutions. And although it is fair to recognize that many cab drivers for various other mitigating reasons may still see more value in leasing a cab from a “dispatcher’, the truth is that barriers to entry and overhead costs are greatly reduced when apps are introduced into the cab reservation process. There certainly will be more competition in the space and fragmentation of fleets will certainly occur, but this is not to say that the industry as a whole will become more fragmented or decentralized, in fact on the contrary, the new lord of the fiefdom may ultimately turn out to be the owners of the most widely leveraged e-hail application. And that may lead to its own set of anti-competitive practices, but there is no doubt that drivers under this new system would still take home more cash for their efforts and would operate in a more entrepreneurial fashion, which presumably would reward those who work hard and hustle, more equitably than how the system currently operates.
This is all just getting under way but the question is: “To e-hail or to halt” that is the question for the judge, whoever he/she may be. Check out the current state of affairs. For the record, although this is a matter involving a number of well entrenched interest groups with considerable power, the fact is that business, money, politics and the populist momentum are on the side of implementing E-hailing technologies. As of yet, it isn’t quite clear how exactly this will impact the yellow cab industry in NYC, but it certainly wont operate in a manner quite like how they have been for the past half century. As for the livery industry, big waves of change are here, lapping at the shores of an infrastructure that is ready, past due in fact, for a technological revolution!
For much of the past year, our operation has been engaged in hand-to-hand combat across multiple markets as the CabCorner team competed to maintain its leading position in an industry we pioneered. Yet as we near our project’s fifth anniversary (in July), we’ve decided to take a different approach. Many of the players in this space have fallen by the wayside, and new ones are constantly rising to take their place. But as we reflect on our origins, it’s clear that we never intended to establish a monopoly in the Social Transportation Logistics space. All we ever wanted to do, humbly, was revolutionize the world!
That’s why our CEO (Jon) tasked us during our annual stakeholder meeting to devise new ways to bring our ways to the communities that need them. Last month, CabCorner unveiled the first effort in this new campaign: the CabCorner Satellite Affiliate at Northwestern University.
Using our technology, the Northwestern University student government is establishing a robust ridesharing program for students. In only three weeks, the program has proven effective and popular among students seeking to save a buck.
In addressing our investors, here’s what Jon said about the opportunity for the company:
“We are not generating revenue off of any aspect of this partnership at the present time. This is a true altruistic experiment; the strategy here is to establish a university model that can be adopted by many budget-conscious student bodies with volume and popularity. If the service we provide lives up to their needs, we will then leverage our registrants to make money off of the partnerships we form with Hot Spot (“meeting point”) vendors, as well as generating cash from simple advertisement campaigns. There is much more to gain by keeping the Cabco model a freemium model than creating a pay per use model, when it comes to cab-sharing strategies. Our users shouldn’t be the ones paying… it should be the individuals seeking to reach them who should pay for the privilege. Our users are our best asset and we must protect them from all the other services seeking to gouge their wallets. Besides, the real value here is in establishing a greener, more widely known platform that generates goodwill and brand recognition for us. Our real meal ticket is our [fare management system] Cabeasy, which IS a platform we can leverage to easily interject ourselves into the transaction process and make cash off of the successful creation of a booked ride. By using Cabcorner to spearhead our credibility in a variety of markets, we are establishing beach heads in markets we can come back to when it’s time to start building paying relationships with private taxi companies for the purposes of establishing the Cabeasy network.”
Thus, the project continues. And the revolution plods on and on, at a cost of around $0.40 per mile.