Taxi Magic app is a new way to hail a cab, but how well does it work?
First, let's talk about Taxi Magic. It's more than just a method to hail a cab. The app opens to detect the user's location, then suggests taxi companies available based on location. It then allows the user to electronically call the taxi via the internet through the app, or it will provide a phone number to call the cab company directly. If electronic booking is available, it will book the taxi, and give updates as to where the cab is as it's on the way to pick up the customer. Once the customer is in the cab, it allows the rider to pay for the ride and the tip with their credit card through the app.
Needing to get a ride to the San Francisco airport, we opened the app. It immediately popped up and said that a cab was available for in-app booking, so we allowed it to book it, for immediate pick up. It provided the cab number, drivers name, estimated it was only a mile away, and would arrive within minutes. Within a couple minutes, the app notified us that the driver and cab had changed, and the new estimate was 6 miles away and 20 minutes until pickup. Then 10 minutes later it changed yet again. Finally we called the cab company directly, and they said they'd just dispatched a taxi. About 20 minutes later we were picked up, and the app popped up and said welcome to the cab. Once at the airport, the app said we had reached the destination. We typed in the total plus a tip which was billed to a credit card, and the driver got a notification on his screen that payment was completed. Prior to leaving the cab, we asked the driver about the 3 cab reassignments, and he said because it was based on GPS it automatically reassigned the closest cabs, but that the system isn't perfect yet. He recommended pre-booking through the app for better reliability.
All in all, it was a simple process. The app worked as it was advertised. The only issue we had was the initial estimated pickup time was missed by about 25 minutes. Based on the driver's feedback, it might be a better idea next time to pre-book the ride through the app.
The experience raises the question of whether it's easier to use an app like Taxi Magic, or if it would have been more effective to just call in and request a taxi. We think in this case the old school dial-a-cab would have been more effective, but in our opinion the benefits of being able to pay through a third party with a credit card far outweighs the kinks associated with not knowing the drivers name and cab number while its on its way. We're giving Taxi Magic the thumbs-up, but recommend if you have an exact time you need to be picked up that you pre-book it using the app and specify the pick-up time, instead of waiting until you need the ride then hailing it.
The Taxi Magic app is available free in the iTunes App Store: Download
The Taxi Magic app is available free on Google play: Download