Over the last six years the team at Cab4Now Towers in Malta have built and hosted over one hundred taxi websites with varying degrees of social and booking integration. We continue to specialise in what we know best and added social media management services for private hire operators and taxi companies in 2015. This new service has proved immensely popular and compliments our core taxi website hosting and design services.
I have never written about our clients before but I have chosen to do so now for the first and, probably, only time. I prefer to be the man behind the curtain looking after clients’ requirements rather than plastering developer links on every client website. This policy remains in place but with the launch of our latest client’s website – Image Executive Cars – I felt it would be helpful to London minicab drivers who are considering becoming a private hire operator. A new private hire operator will need a website and booking platform together with integrated passenger and driver apps.
The more entrepreneurial London taxi drivers may also consider having their own website and booking platform together with integrated passenger and driver apps also. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is critical to avoid a continuing reduction in income. There will always be street work, of that there is no doubt, but the common consensus is that London taxi drivers are now earning 30% less compared to a year ago.
Both London taxi drivers – individually or a group of London taxi drivers that come together under one website – and new and established private hire operators have a plethora of choices and options when considering taxi booking platforms, hosting, websites and web booking facilities. In my experience, it is this vast choice that stops many – both London taxi drivers and London minicab drivers – from doing anything.
One thing is certain in London. For those London taxi drivers and London minicab drivers that choose to do nothing it is clear that, sadly, your earnings will continue to fall.
The alternative is to build your own boutique minicab or taxi business where YOU can make a real difference. Whether that is a minicab driver letting people he is driving know he is setting up on his own business and handing out business cards to his passengers for his new website, Facebook and Twitter channels whilst he waits for his operator’s licence to come through.
Or, perhaps, a London taxi driver who wants to attract some regular clients who book again and again just with him or a group of other London taxi drivers banded together under one website with a booking platform that can be managed from a mobile phone for immediate and prebooked jobs. Taxi Hub payment integration at more competitive rates than current TfL recommendations and still TfL compliant because all such bookings are treated by TfL as prebooked and paid via the driver app or website is attractive too. Uber is a classic example of such “prebooking”. Cheeky, huh? Of course. But perfectly legal. Just use the Flag Down option when a customer wants to use a credit card and enter the metered fare. Instant TfL compliant bookings on your own booking platform Uber style.
Image Executive Cars is due to launch in July 2016. Why not follow ImageExecutive on Twitter? The founder of Image Executive Cars has been a private hire operator before. He has recently left his chauffeur circuit to branch out on his own and has been a Mercedes S Class VIP driver for six years based in and around London.
Image Executive Cars asked me to sort out their website and I took the opportunity to get up to speed with the latest booking platform options. My requirements were simple. I wanted a robust solution for bookings with integrated credit and debit card processing which could be available to both drivers and control with bookings, payments and updates being able to flow both ways and an alert button which could be used in emergency situations. I wrote about the importance of such an alert facility back on 3rd September 2014.
— Cab4Now.com (@Cab4Now) May 21, 2016
I am still of the opinion that all private hire operators – both traditional like Addison Lee and app only like Uber – should have a panic button incorporated in their despatch software. If activated it would alert, say, the 10 nearest empty drivers that another driver was in fear of his safety and give his location. Drivers available could then rally to support their colleague. A global approach for all Cab4Now website clients may prove even more attractive for coverage in London and may even result in London taxi drivers and London minicab drivers helping each other when alerts are triggered. A step too far? For some, perhaps. But the option to only help drivers either side of the fence would still be there.
Uber are still considering if the panic alert facility may be implemented for their drivers. The facility is long overdue in the industry as a whole. I guess everyone’s just waiting for somebody to die. But I trust the feature will appear in the new driver app launching at Addison Lee in September. I just won’t hold my breath.
The only booking platform that nearly ticked all the boxes was Taxi Hub. I say nearly because the driver app does have an alert button in the driver app and it alerts the controller that a driver is in difficulty. With my encouragement they may widen the alert process to nearby drivers too. 😉
Taxi Hub have enabled a simple, efficient cloud based system that will allow Image Executive Cars to generate quotes and delegate jobs with no more than a couple of clicks of their mouse. The app offers the same service, so controllers can work from anywhere, or smaller operators without a controller can offer the same quick, customer focused service.
A simple form for bookings at Image Executive Cars is hosted by Taxi Hub on the Image Executive Cars booking page with bookings dropping in to the Taxi Hub booking platform ready to go with automated emails for customers at all stages. Texts are sent automatically to customers too.
Taxi Hub was initially funded by European grant funding and is now a self sustaining excellent product – no catches, just a brilliant win win scenario enjoyed by thousands of drivers and business owners worldwide, why don’t you join them with a complete website integrated solution provided by Cab4Now.com?
Whether you are a one man enterprise, or run a fleet of hundreds, or maybe a London taxi driver looking to set up a booking facility that can be controlled by every driver and bookings shared easily via the driver app, Taxi Hub and Cab4Now will offer you a simple, efficient solution to your administrative and logistical needs, allowing you to keep every aspect of your business happy, from the fare, to dispatch, and driver. Taxi Hub is also the ONLY booking platform that takes driver safety seriously. Take note Uber and Addison Lee.
There’s no need for any additional hardware because most drivers have smart phones and the payment gateway is only 1.4% per transaction. SMS text services, if you want to use them, are just 6p per text. An added bonus for me and not part of my original criteria was that Taxi Hub is integrated with Stripe as the payment gateway which is what I have used on Cab4Now.com for over a year. I can tell you that this payment processor is head and shoulders above the rest. Please don’t even consider PayPal as a payment option – it sucks!
To summarise, Cab4Now.com now offers the safest Taxi, Chauffeur or Private Hire Website And Booking Platform for a fixed price of £1500. This includes domain, hosting, email, website, blog, CRM, booking platform, web booker, driver and passenger apps. There is a monthly maintenance charge of £60. It is a complete turnkey solution. Taxi Hub charges are also £2 per driver per week.
Private hire drivers and private hire operators who would like a website and are going to work with Image Executive Cars as a Network Partner can have a similar site to Image Executive Cars at £990 and no monthly cost. Annual renewal cost would be £200. Please contact Image Executive Cars here. All bookings that are entered on each Network Partner’s website are allocated exclusively to that Network Partner automatically when due unless the owner of the booking – the Network Partner – requires otherwise. Bookings can also be rejected at the time of allocation which will then cause the booking to go back in to the Image Executive Cars booking platform for automatic allocation to another driver or Network Partner.
If it helps then both Network Partner websites and full solutions at £990 and £1500 respectively can be split in to three equal monthly instalments.
A nice feature of Stripe integration at Taxi Hub is that website owners can choose to settle every fare direct to the driver at any percentage chosen for each individual driver.
Well, that’s my pitch. The last time I wrote one was back on 25th April 2012 so I guest the next one will be in another four years.
Please remember, if you’re a London minicab driver or a London taxi driver doing nothing is now no longer an option. I wrote back in the annual Christmas review on 11th December 2013 that we all need an exit strategy. If you haven’t got one and want to carry on moving London then the time has come to build your own business. If you don’t build your own dreams then you’ll end up building somebody else’s. And get paid less every year for doing it!