Here, in Des Moines, there are a handful of taxis (our favorite), but in contrast New York has over 50,000.
And if GetTaxi has it their way, about +35,000 of them will have the ability to take electronic cash payments. Yup, the car-pickup service is highlighting the option to pay with Dwolla in their bid to win the highly-coveted RFP for its official mobile app
What’s great is that they have the street cred to do it. Recently raising $20 million from Access Partners, the international startup has over 110 employees, 400,000 iPhone downloads (don’t worry, Android and Windows versions are available too) and is killing it in 13 countries, including the UK, Russia and Israel. Hell, even their USA CEO, Jing Herman, is a former taxi cab driver.
So why is adding Dwolla so important?
Because every cent matters.
- Having a licensed and regulated cab is expensive: There are currently around 13,000 Medallions, a legal requirement for a car to pick up pedestrians street side, two of which recently sold for $1 million a piece.
- Taxi cab income per shift is set to drop 19% after 2,000 more medallions are printed. That means one of two things, either fares are going to increase in price or the cab driver industry is about to get a whole lot harder to live off of. (the average day of work for a NY cabbie yields around $158 per 12-hour shift.)
Because every second matters.
- Taxis spend nearly 40x as much time on the road as private cars.
- Cutting down the time a cab is on the road, wherever possible, is great way to reduce a huge pending problem: an increase in the wear-and-tear on streets and traffic congestion.
Because every transaction matters
- Leaving behind your credit card information in the back of taxi cab isn’t a very good idea. (Don’t worry, GetTaxi and the others, like Hailo, Taxi Magic and Uber, have some awesome ways to protect you, even if you do use a card!)
The idea is simple: