Thursday, October 04, 2012

Hailo taxi app in #Toronto

Hailing a taxi in Toronto has never been easier since the recent launch of the @HAILOToronto free smartphone app. Coming over the pond from London and Dublin the app arrives in North America allow users to hail  the nearest taxi with simple taps on their phone - with no extra costs over a regular taxi ride. It's got to be better then the time I tried to hail the yellow cab and found it was from a movie set where Toronto stood in for New York City, above.

The launch made Hailo the second largest taxi network in Toronto and is officially licensed by the City of Toronto as an app-based cab company - and the cab fees are at the City approved rates. It is also the world's largest app-based taxi booking service in the world, almost hitting 300,000.

"Technology is driving the change that the taxi industry so desperately needs. Our mission at Hailo is simple," says company president Justin Raymond, "we want to make the taxi experience better and easier for both passengers and drivers. By offering an easier, faster and simply better taxi experience, we believe Hailo is going to fundamentally change the way that people move around the city."

Toronto cabs are private contractors and can shop for their own business so they are available to join the Hailo network. You set up the app with your credit card information which also allows seamless online payment without having to take out your credit card. You can add a tip of your choice for the driver, then when the ride is compete an electronic receipt is issued to you. Hailo also feels it is important to rate your driver and your experience.

I like how you request the taxi by tapping on your phone screen, without having to make a phone call, then a map shows you the approach of a taxi responding to the pickup request - along with an estimated time of arrival. You know ahead of time the driver's name, phone number and picture. It certainly is easy to connect with a ride when you need one.

And there are only a few times and places in Toronto where you can't walk without tripping over a taxi, including Union Station at rush hour, but it is probably still easier to pay with Hailo.

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