"Customer research shows not everybody wants to input their credit card details and many are becoming weary of price surges common with other taxi apps. "
Liverpool’s largest taxi firm is set to expand by introducing a PAYG app in a bid to attract more drivers.
ComCab, based in the city centre, is the oldest hackney cab taxi firm in Liverpool. 400 hackney cabs work on their system and now the first drivers have signed up to their new app ComCab Lite.
The new mobile app allows hackney drivers to log on and only pay for jobs they are sent and complete, as opposed to paying a fixed standing charge. Karen Long, general manager, explains:
"The new business model opens up a whole new market for hackney drivers. Currently hackney drivers can’t sign up to private hire apps and are missing out on work. With ComCab Lite drivers can reduce dead miles by letting the jobs come to them. Customer research shows not everybody wants to input their credit card details and many are becoming weary of price surges common with other taxi apps. Likewise Hackney drivers can’t sign up to private hire apps and are missing out on work. Drivers can tap into new customers who can choose to pay cash, or where facilities exist by card, direct to the driver.”
The ComCab Lite app adds a secondary fleet to the company that was established in 1958 as Merseycabs. Only Liverpool licensed drivers can join up, all that is required is a smart phone. Karen adds:
“There is no contract, fixed costs or any initial outlay. We also want to highlight to passengers that cab drivers are small independent businesses in their own right. We are urging the public to stay local, which can’t be guaranteed with a private hire taxi, many come in from other cities. As we broaden black cab coverage across the city, passengers will increasingly be able to take advantage of a door to door service.”
The sign up process can be done in person by drivers who take their badge details to ComCab’s office in Falkland Street off London Road, during office hours. In a push to get more drivers signed up, ComCab is launching a programme of open evenings when night drivers can call into the office to sign up, the first of which will be in March, details will be published on the taxi firm’s Facebook page.
Once their cab is checked over the ComCab team will authorise the use of the Lite app on the driver’s smartphone.
Shaun Parry, one of the first drivers to sign up for ComCab Lite told us:
“I’ve only been using the app for a short while but one of it’s main points is flexibility. It’s really reliable and easy to use, it was a good move signing up. People know they can flag a black cab in the street or telephone for one, the new smartphone driver app actually expands the possibilities for both parties by giving drivers more choice and customers more cabs on the system available for booking.”
ComCab counts NHS Trusts, some of the city’s leading leisure venues and the Local Authority among its clients. They are a division of Comfortdelgro Corporation, one of the largest ground transport providers in the world.