BOOKING and tracking a cab is being made easier at a Newcastle firm which has launched its own mobile phone app.
LA Taxis worked with Autocab to create the app, which can be used on iPhones, iPads, Blackberrys and Android smart phones to order and check on a taxi's progress.
LA Taxis’ business development manager Steve McGuinness said: “There are other taxi-related apps out there to help you find a local taxi, but none which actually allow you to book a journey from a specific company. A few taps on your smartphone is all it takes to tell our sophisticated e-booker system where you are, where you want to go and at what time. It’s a great way to avoid busy phone lines and long taxi queues.”
The app contains millions of identity points in its system, including street names, buildings and places of interest, to allow people to book a taxi even if they do not know their exact location.
McGuinness believes the technology will be especially useful in places such as theatres, cinemas or hospitals, as well as for people with hearing or speech difficulties.
And he says there is also a ready market, with the 50,000-plus students who will be imminently arriving in Newcastle when the new term begins.
“Students live with their smart phones 24/7, and many are new to the city,” said McGuinness.
“We believe they will love this new app and use it to book their taxis by using technology they are familiar with and without having to speak to anyone. It is so much more convenient for them and another example of how we at LA Taxis are constantly looking at ways to improve what we do, particularly with technology and safety.
“It’s great that we’ve been able to launch this app just before the influx of new students.”
The business – formed three years ago through the merger of Lansdowne Taxis and ACE Taxis – also uses a call centre and has fitted all of its taxis with credit and debit card terminals.