Can we get a hallelujah? Hailo–the taxi-fetching app has officially cut through the red tape and is available for use in NYC.
I had the chance to use it in BETA before it was released to the public, and I have to say that the design and UI (User Interface) is super nice and clever. (I love when people make GREAT UI!). And when it works, it really works! You confirm your pickup location on the app, and the nearest taxi driver confirms and then makes his way to you. Equipped with a countdown timer letting the user know how many minutes to expect the driver to arrive. They even include the taxi number and IMAGE of the driver!… You can even tell the driver that you are handicapped! Fantastic!
However, my concerns are these:
- Now that the app is released to the public, I find it harder for a cab to even confirm the ride at all as there are more people using it.
- I have a dog, and I find it very difficult to know which cabs will allow us into their cab — and they have every right to deny me the ride with a pet without a carrier. It would be in their best interest to include the option of pet, just as there is an option of handicapped.
Now as with any new service that rethinks the wheel, there is a period of adjustment, and I am sure it will be a success albeit even if it is just for those late nights when you need a cab and the city isn’t scrambling to get to their respective workplaces. I am hopeful.
There is even another car service app that has taken the world by storm, called Uber, which has been known traditionally as a black car/limo company but has now struck a deal with NYC to have the ability to hail cabs as well. I have used this myself and is just as effective. It all depends on if the cab driver has the Hailo app or the Uber app. Time will tell who will be stronger in this race however.
Using the app the other day I felt like I was in a commercial when I used the app to hail myself a cab. There was also a girl waiting next to me trying to hail a cab. As my app told me what the driver looked like and i saw him across the street, I signaled to him to come to the other side of the street, where he pulled up, and the girl waiting next to me, with the biggest snobby attitude says, “Excuse me, I’ve been waiting for a cab…” I held up my phone and showed her the picture of the driver and said, “I used the app to get this one, isn’t that right Makmet?” He confirmed with a nod, and I proceeded to get inside, where she left me with her snarl and “Whatever” remark as I closed the door. It couldn’t have been more perfect! LOL!
If you don’t have the app yet, I suggest you download it. You may run into people like me, who are now reserving their taxis with their phones. That is, if they ever come.