Company: Flywheel Software
Source: Los Angeles Times
Flywheel, Uber, Lyft and Sidecar can make hailing a taxi or ride-sharing service much more inviting.
By Paresh Dave, September 4, 2013
Like many Southern California residents, I resisted ever hailing a taxi.
The region’s traffic and sprawl hinted at exorbitant fares. Figuring out whom to call and then waiting on hold to order a cab added to my reluctance.
But now with a smartphone, I’ve found ordering a taxi has actually become inviting. Anxious waits have been eliminated because you can track a taxi’s journey to you on a digital map. Estimating fares, paying them, leaving tips and getting receipts can all be completed through an app.
People who avoid taxis because they consider them scary or their drivers frustrating also have easy smartphone options. Apps such as Lyft, Sidecar and Uber connect people to drivers willing to give rides at fares sometimes equivalent to or cheaper than taxis.
Here’s a look at some taxi and ride-sharing apps.
Flywheel, a San Francisco start-up, partnered with Bell Cab Co., the highest-rated taxi fleet of the nine in the city of Los Angeles. Bell’s 320 green-colored taxis also roam Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Torrance, Redondo Beach, Lawndale, Hawthorne, El Segundo, Palos Verdes, Lomita and Rolling Hills.
Once you download the free Flywheel app for Apple or Android, you enter contact and credit card details to create an account. Turning on Wi-Fi or GPS lets the app determine your location. You can then move a pointer to your exact pickup location or select it from a drop-down list of major venues, such as businesses, shops and hotels. Then you’ll see icons hovering over locations of nearby Bell taxis.