Smartphone app can help you catch a cab

November 22, 2011 8:50:23 PM PST
If you're coming into the city to do some holiday shopping, you might need to catch a cab, but how do you compete with all the other people who are looking for a ride during the holidays too? ABC7 looks at an app that puts a little mojo in your quest for a cab.

"Sometimes taxis are just in short supply and that's especially true on Friday nights and Saturday nights," said Hugo Hardel.

Hardel created Taxi Mojo -- an app that shoots to eliminate the age-old problem of calling the cab company and then waiting around.

"You don't know if the taxi is going to show up in 20 seconds or 20 minutes, or if the taxi is going to show up at all," said Hardel.

Taxi Mojo uses GPS to find drivers close to you and let them know you need a ride. Once the driver accepts, you can watch the cab drive toward you on the map.

But what if you just left a concert or a sporting event? You're up against thousands of other people for the same 10 taxis. Well, that's where the "mojo" part comes in. Mojo means a little something extra, so the app lets you throw in a little something extra to offer the driver, if you're willing to pay.

The app lets you advertize that you're willing to pay the driver an extra $5 or $10 to pick you up instead of somebody else.

"I think that's a very powerful tool to give a driver an incentive," said taxicab blogger John Han.

Han says it helps cabbies compete against "Uber" -- an app that calls those black town cars and guarantees they'll show up. Like Taxi Mojo, Uber works using GPS -- something CNET's Brian Cooley calls the big new thing in mobile computing.

"Looking for a restaurant? Yes, I want it to be geo-aware. Looking for a cab? I want that to be geo-aware. Trying to find where my friends are? I absolutely want that to be geo-aware. There aren't too many use cases where the location doesn't make the experience better," said Cooley.


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