In a society where we spend more and more of our waking hours connected to the internet, is it any wonder that pretty much anything that needs booking in advance can now be done online rather than over the phone?
With advancements in technology along with a demand for an efficient service that doesn’t require human interaction, online taxi booking software, such as that used by www.500cars.com, offers us another solution to save precious time in our day.
An increasing number of people travel internationally both for business and pleasure and as such the internet is proving to be the main source through which people can organise their travel arrangements. Whether it be to arrange a taxi to drop them off or pick up from the airport or to arrange transportation between pre-arranged business meetings, having the ability to pre-book a taxi online helps not only save money (the cost of booking a taxi in another country is going to be high), avoids the embarrassment of any language barriers and also keeps a record of your travel plans.
You simply go to the relevant website, fill in the application form; specifying the day, time, place, number of passengers and amount of luggage etc press a button and voila it’s booked. Many also offer you the chance to get an immediate quote, giving you the option to shop around for a cheaper option if need be.
One of the biggest advantages of booking a taxi online is that you will be able to do so straight away. How often have you phoned up for a taxi only to hear the engaged tone down the end of the receiver. That will never happen when you book online. You can also pay in advance using either a credit card or even in some cases through Paypal. The benefit of this is that you will only pay the agreed amount, you won’t need to ensure you have the right money on you and and will generate a printable receipt for both the passenger and the driver.
Obviously, there are benefits to still being able to hail a black cab from the street, as there are certain times and situations where you may only need a taxi at short notice. But this has also been taken over by technology, thanks to the invention of Hailo, an app that uses smartphone technology to track and flag down a cab for you. Invented by a group of six people, three of whom are taxi drivers, Hailo is already being used by two thirds of the 16,000 full-time black taxi cab drivers in London and after only 18 months has a customer base of 300,000. The app can be downloaded for free and using GPS can track down a cab, tell you how long it is going to be and gives you the drivers details as security. The cab driver will also accept payment by credit card at no extra cost, which means you don’t need to worry about having the right money on you or that the fare may go up because you have to stop via a cashpoint on the way home.
The general secretary of London’s Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, Steve McNamara, says that ‘the introduction of Hailo has revolutionised the taxi trade in London, and it’s educating a whole new generation of customers about the benefits of using a real taxi driven by a professional driver with the Knowledge, as opposed to the minicab service that many had grown up with.’
Booking a taxi online will inevitably save you time and money, but with more and more jobs being lost to technology and machines, we should perhaps combine our online bookings with the more personal and traditional method of speaking to an operator over the phone.