Black Cab Drivers Use Technology For A Charm Offensive With New App That Allows On Demand Booking Of Individual Seats in Black Cabs, Aiming For Prices On Par With Public Transport
Today marks the launch of Maaxi, the personalised public transport app that offers London commuters a bespoke and affordable alternative travel option in and around the capital. Just as an airline sells seats on planes, Maaxi enables users to book individual seats in London black cabs, for shared journeys at a fraction of the cost of the taximeter. Maaxi retools one of London’s most abundant, trusted, and iconic travel options – London black cabs – and opens up the five or six seats in them to anyone who can afford public transport. Maaxi will run services in the vicinity of and along existing public transport routes, catering to groups of people who share present bus, tube or train journeys looking for added comfort, speed, and alternatives to their normal commute.
Due to the relative high running costs of a black cab, the seats in them have been until now available for sale only at a premium cost selling the entire space for exclusive rides. Going forward, via Maaxi, black cabs will have the option of carrying rides sold by the seat, as well as traditional exclusive rides. By sharing journeys with other customers, Maaxi users can enjoy all the convenience and comfort of a black cab, for prices per mile comparable to buses or the tube when sharing with three other passengers. The more fellow passengers Maaxi users are prepared to share with, the lower the price they pay.
“Black cabs are part of Transport for London’s licensed transport infrastructure. With Maaxi, London will be the world’s first city to enjoy on demand door-to-door public transport. With no government subsidies, and through our own cutting edge technology, black cab drivers will offer the ultimate convenience at affordable prices to Londoners who use Maaxi in their home communities and workplaces,” commented Maaxi Founder and CEO, Gabriel Campos. “This is London cabbies’ way of saying ‘thank you’ to the people and the city that made them iconic and famous.”
Through a departures board screen in the Maaxi App, passengers are always aware of the taxis available to get them to their desired location, as well as the price they will pay. Maaxi utilises its own bespoke made-in-London mapping technology to dynamically match passengers en route to their final destination, with the aim of participating black cabs always being full and continually daisy chaining to their next stop.
“London is a hotbed of innovation and the city’s transport sector is no exception. I am a strong supporter of any new technology that supports and enhances the offer from London’s cabbies, who are rightly famous the world over for their knowledge and professionalism,” said London’s Mayor Boris Johnson.
Just as with the setup of a new bus or train line, the roll out of Maaxi services throughout London is a considerable project that will take both time and active participation by black cab drivers and commuters. Rollout activities will be promoted in real-time under hashtags such as #doortodoorbus, #doortodoortube and #surgecut. For convenience and ease, Maaxi will follow existing tube, train and bus commute corridors, thereby ensuring a steady supply of black cab seats at the times and places they’re needed the most.
“It will take time to have regular Maaxi services in all areas of London, but like with any project we need to to start somewhere. We want to encourage people to spread the word even while they wait for buses, and if they are going to share the bus with fellow passengers, they might just as well share a taxi and go for free. The people inviting most new users could enjoy as much an entire year of free rides once Maaxi is fully active in their home community or workplace,” added Campos.
Maaxi will reward users who drive adoption of the service and spread the word. By sharing the unique code embedded in the app with friends, families, co-workers and even with strangers with whom they share bus or train rides, users can earn up to £10 credit for both themselves and for each person they invite to join. “The people inviting most new users could enjoy as much an entire year of free rides once Maaxi is fully active in their home community or workplace,” added Campos.
With Maaxi, users are able to travel with friends, solo, or book seats in female-only or male-only taxis should they prefer. Maaxi does not accept payment from users without a UK address and bank payment method and address, which when added to Maaxi’s GPS tracking, makes the sharing with strangers safe and trackable. For drivers, Maaxi means more fares and more efficient usage of both their taxis and time spent on the road, as provided by the platform’s dynamic route-matching technology.
Having been trialled in open beta at the end of 2014, Maaxi is available now via Google Play and in the iOS app store. For more information, head over to www.maaxiapp.com where details on the rollout of the service will be constantly updated.
Maaxi is an application for iOS and Android devices offering personalised public transport by allowing users to book individual seats in London black cabs. By sharing rides, passengers are guaranteed a significantly lower price, often on par with public transport alternatives. The more fellow passengers Maaxi users are prepared to share with, the lower the price they pay.
The company was founded at the end of 2012 in London by CEO Gabriel Campos and is privately funded by backers including Campos himself and financier Nathaniel Rothschild.