After failing to flag one down, they called a cab. After fifteen minutes of waiting, none showed up. At that point, Jamie turned to Chris and said, "there should be an iPhone app that locates taxis using GPS..." And so the seed was planted.
The seed has now blossomed into TaxiNow, a Vancouver startup with a web and iPhone app that allows users to detect the exact location of nearby available taxis on their iPhone map and hail them with a click.
In an interview with Techvibes, Jamie talked about the inefficiencies of the taxi industry as it is run today. Despite being an estimated $1 billion industry in Canada, and founded on the principle of convenience, the taxi world can be fraught with inefficient, inconvenient, and frustrating experiences for passengers. TaxiNow aims to change this.
An initial focus in Vancouver will gradually expand to all of Canada, and eventually the U.S., U.K., and even Australia.
TaxiNow currently has an iPhone app and also a website where passengers can request taxis. They plan to build apps for Android and Blackberry phones as well.
The Vancouver startup also sees shining potential for multi-industry expansion. "The application has many other potential benefits to other industries - transport, delivery services, and even air."
They don't want to get too far ahead of themselves, though, so it's taxis only for now.