Technology

Smartphone app helps people share cabs

Thursday, October 13, 2011

If you shudder at the thought of a $50 cab fare to get to the airport, remember, there's probably somebody else headed to the airport that can't even find a cab and would love to split the fare with you, if you could just find each other. Luckily, there's now an app for that.

"I've had this idea for years, before smartphones," Taxishare app creator Dan Fedor said.

Fedor's not a programmer; he's a lawyer who's spent a lot of time trying to catch a cab.

"Needing to get to work on a weekday morning about 8, 8:30; needing to take a cab and no open cabs to be found, but cab after cab going by me with one person in it clearly going downtown," Fedor said.

So on the days he was lucky enough to get a cab, he decided to try something.

"I would literally just pull over for people who were waiting or trying to hail a cab, ask them if they wanted to share my cab downtown, and I was never turned down," Fedor said.

Like any self-respecting innovator, Fedor had found a need, and set about creating an app for it.

Taxishare is social networking meets transportation. Already live in Chicago, now launching in San Francisco, you tap where you're headed and it finds people along the way who want to share a ride.

"You can tell by the color coded dot that they're going to your destination, plus the balloon which actually shows their destination," Fedor said.

As you ride, the app lets you use PayPal to split the fare.

Everyone wins, except maybe the driver.

"They may not be totally opposed to it but they may not be all that enthusiastic about it," cab driver and blogger John Han said.

Han says Chicago cab drivers can charge extra for a shared ride. San Francisco drivers can't. He says maybe the city should change that.

Right now, the app is just available for Android" smartphones. Fedor is hoping he can save some venture capitalists so much money on their cab fares they'll have a little left over to fund him for an iPhone version.

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
apps, android, smartphones, technology, jonathan bloom
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