Smartphone cab services, with special mention for Uber, declared war against the native yellow cabs that are traveling through the streets of New York. In doing so, New York taxi drivers decided to take action and are quite prepared in the battle.
First on their weapons is concentrated on having spacious mini vans as taxi firms renew, and make enhancements for their fleets. Another is the much awaited smart phone app.
Checkered, bright yellow cabs defined the New York streets for years but as a welcomed change of image, Nissan NV200 will soon dominate the bustling city streets with its cushy seats, modernized phone and laptop plugs, panoramic glass roof, and an adjustable air conditioning in the back seat.
Although the minivan is quite new and only a handful lucky passengers have come to test its services, cab drivers have observed a great difference as compared to the Crown Victoria that New Yorkers were accustomed to. The new cabs are visibly more comfortable than the latter.
The old fleet is to be replaced with the Nissan minivans primarily because New York authorities see the potential of it being the solution against online taxi ride booking services.
As compared to the less standardized vehicles of Uber, the new cabs will provide more space and this would attract customers.
City taxi firms can choose between the NV200 or the Nissan upon renewing their fleets on the coming years.
With about 800 minivans cruising the streets, Nissan is viewed as a far better and much safer substitute to the traditional New York cabs. The estimated replacement rate of vehicles is, more or less, 2,600 a year. With this rate, it will take about five years to have the entire New York City taxi fleet replaced with the yellow minivans
Uber is very attractive among commuters who prefer to book their rides using smartphone applications. This allows them to have easy access to a taxi service but without handing out cash on hand or be obliged on giving tips. With this in mind, the second defense of yellow taxis involves providing the same app for travelers.
The app will be called “Arro” and was launched last Wednesday. Although it works like Uber as it gives locations for nearby taxis and their ETAs, It is a “smarter” cab summon tool where a user will just have to push a button on their smartphone and use its geolocation, to have a cab in no time.
There are already 7,000 taxis that are now using the app and backers are working real hard to back it up in spreading the word about it.
According to Michael Woloz, the company spokesman of Arro, as of the moment, the app will not take a cut on the fare in order to have as much market share as they can. This marking down of the price will hopefully give an advantage for start- up companies. It may be convenient but Uber actually costs more than having yellow taxis for a ride.
New York city yielded in July and agrees to hold off capping the number of vehicles that are operated by Uber. The online ride- booking service had revealed before that they have 26,000 driver- partners in the city as compared to the 13, 587 checkered taxis.
This ratio has a lot of cab drivers worrying for their place in the industry. They have observed the slowing down of business with less passengers opting for yellow cabs. Taxi license value could plummet and it may also devalue the worth of the iconic New York yellow taxis.
Worried taxi drivers have the choice to go with these changes and they may learn a thing or two from reading more Taxi Cab Tips at www.taxicabtips.com where a fellow taxi cab driver is sharing his insights on the taxi cab business.