First mobile app to help riders split taxi trips debuts
Jeff Novich, Co-founder of Fare Share which is an app servicing people interested in sharing taxi cabs in the hopes of cutting travel costs. (RJ Mickelson/amNY)
Looking for a cheaper cab ride? A bunch of brainy developers were, and the result looks to be the first mobile app to help New Yorkers hustle up someone to split a ride.
“Taxis are incredibly expensive,” said Jeff Novich, 30, one of the developers of Fare/Share. “Our market is people who are tech savvy who want to save money.”Set to debut at a big city tech conference Monday, the free iPhone app allows users to find others looking for a cab near them and traveling along a similar route. Riders plug in their destination and are notified when someone picks up on their request. The carpoolers select a meeting location and plug share info on how to ID one another.
The clever program also calculates how to split the fare and tip, even if the riders get off at different location. To cut down on the creepy factor, users are asked to rate one another afterwards.
The Taxi & Limousince Commission has been trying to encourage riders to share cabs, but its three “group ride” locations in Manhattan haven’t taken off, agency Commissioner David Yassky said. Yassky has higher hopes for locations opening in about a month at LaGuardia Airport and the Port Authority bus terminal, but he was enamored by the Fare/Share concept.
“I love it, love it,” Yassky said.
Most cab riders go solo, with the city’s average trip size at 1.4 passengers, according to the TLC. In an analysis of 14 millions fares, the “FareShare” developers found that at least 25 percent of the 456,000 rides each day are potentially shareable based on their pickup and dropoff locations.
For more informaiton and to use the app on the web, visit www.faresharenyc.com.