Local taxi company launching app to compete with Uber & Lyft
SALISBURY, Md. – As ride sharing apps like Uber and Lyft continue to grow, they’re forcing locally owned businesses to change the way they do things. Taxi, Etc., an Eastern Shore based taxi service is taking matters into its own hands to compete with those big companies by launching an app.
It might seem like a no brainer, given Uber and Lyft, but it’s a big investment for a local company like this one. And it’s the first of its kind here for the area. They tell 47 ABC, they hope their app will help them to stay relevant by and even grow by offering things that big brand names can’t.
“There’s no buses, no metro, nothing. So people really depend on taxing here,” says Bryant Shelton, co-owner of Taxi, Etc.
It’s something that no other local transportation business has done yet because it’s not easy or cheap. “It’s not easy. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. It took me a while to find a project developer and software developer even in the price range to make it work.”
But Shelton tells 47 ABC it’s just the way things are now and small companies have to adapt if they want to stay in business. “No one wants to Google a taxi site. Everyone just wants something accessible. They can go to their phone press and go,” says Shelton.
Shelton says there are perks to supporting local businesses, like cutting out the middle man which lowers costs, especially in an area that’s as unique as the Eastern Shore. “Uber and Lyft don’t really cater to a town that’s smaller or it doesn’t have a lot of tourism so the prices are more for people willing to kick out the money,” says Shelton.
Taxi Etc. tells 47 ABC they’re also learning from mistakes Uber and Lyft might have made when it comes to rider safety. They’ll have a feature on the app that allows female riders to request female drivers, if that makes them feel safer.
The Taxi Etc. app can do almost everything Uber and Lyft can including showing an estimate for the ride price before you request a driver. It will soon have features to car pool with other people and split fares with a friend that you’re riding with.
Right now, developers are making sure the App runs smoothly. They will officially launch it for Android and Apple users during the first week of September.