The taxi industry hasn't changed much over time. But with a sudden rush of competition from the likes of Uber and Canada's own Winston, their hand has been forced: innovate or perish.
Starting today, Torontonians looking for a lift can order a traditional taxi with two taps on their smartphone. Beck Taxi is claiming to be Toronto’s first Taxi company to introduce a mobile taxi app.
“We’re very excited to be the first taxi company in the city to offer an app which will ultimately make our customers’ lives easier,” said Kristine Hubbard, General Manager, Beck Taxi. “Our customers now have a taxi service at their fingertips. This is the first of several innovations that Toronto taxi users can expect to see from Beck that help simplify the taxi experience."
Of course, while Beck may be the first among old-school taxi companies, what it's doing is nothing new among tech startups. Uber, a pioneer in the space, has been at it for a while and is in now the midst of penetrating Canada. Meanwhile, Toronto-born Winston is causing ripples locally.
Beck's new app, available for free on the iPhone, has several features: GPS technology that instantly finds your location; address favouriting capability for faster ordering; pre-order settings for up to 30 days in advance; status updates indicating that your order has been received and that your taxi is coming; pre-set locations such as Pearson International Airport; and social networking capability.