Local Taxi Company Using App To Compete With Uber
Uber’s arrival in State College last month raised concerns for local taxi companies. The ride service is notorious to taxi companies for wreaking havoc on their business when it arrives in a city. In San Francisco, there was a 65 percent drop in taxi use once ride-sharing apps were introduced.
Local taxi company AA Taxi Inc. hasn’t been impacted by Uber’s arrival, according to owner Patrick Evans. Still, that hasn’t stopped the taxi service from making changes to keep up with its tech-savvy competitors.
“AA Taxi Inc. has changed its dispatching methods to compete with Uber,” Evans said. “By utilizing similar software, we can do all what Uber does, plus have a human dispatcher behind it.”
The new app, called Gata Hub, is available for iPhone and Android devices. Much like Uber, it allows customers to see when the taxi was sent out and its exact location. The new system was installed into all the companies’ taxicabs three weeks ago, and has been running smoothly since.
“Uber puts on a huge media show when they come into a town. However, we are busier than ever with our new computerized dispatch system,” Evans said.
Despite understaffing issues, Uber had a successful launch in State College. Thousands of students and local residents used the app during its opening weekend alone.
For local taxi companies who get the bulk of their business from students, losing that interest is a recipe for disaster. Although Penn Staters have not stopped using taxis, Evans is unsure how the company will be impacted as Uber’s customer base continues to grow.
“Long term, we are not 100 percent sure,” Evans said.