Imagine Taxi fare calculator in 1907

The taxi fare calculator (unlike the mouse trap) has evolved over the years.

A 100 years ago emerging technology freaked out taxi drivers big time. It was the Taxi meter.

Tim Townsend (News Editor at Timeline.com. Author of ‘Mission at Nuremberg.’) explains well how Taxi meter news was received by cabbies a century ago: “The new taxi tech of a century ago – meters! – freaked out cabbies, too

  • Taxi Drivers don’t like change – taxi fare calculators work fine now!
  • Passengers are being scammed by cabbies – but no more!
  • Technology should only be good both for taxi drivers and passengers.
  • Taxi fares are NOT fair – who benefits more?

Taxi fare calculator - taxi meters existed for over 100 years

Image: timeline.com – The New York Times, March 4, 1907

Driver – Taxi Drivers don’t like change – taxi fare calculators work fine now!:

We have just adjusted to the latest legislation, why the change again?

Of course we will freak out with any new change imposed. Changes usually hurt our schedules, earning plans, has tax implications or is simply inconvenient.

If I was a black cab driver in London I would be furious about Uber’s arrival in the city. I used to make decent living, afford a mortgage and pay my bills by driving for 6-8 hours a day and now what?

  • I have to be on the road longer hours.
  • I have to change my pattern of getting work – taxi rank are not reliable any more, driving in heavy traffic is no-one’s favourite.
  • I need to offer Card payments.
  • I have to get any fare – to/from anywhere.

If I was a mini cab driver in London I’m suffering again.

  • I have to use more technology – more expensive phone and larger Data plan.
  • Every platform now requires me to connect to their own app.
  • I still have to spend longer hours on the road because there are so many of us competing for a fare.

Taxi fare calculation by the taxi meter freaked us out 100 years ago and recent technology freaks us out now. There is nothing we can do about it but to adapt and embrace it. Or hang up the keys!

 

Passenger – we are being scammed by cabbies, but no more!:

Yes, that’s right! 100 years ago when the taxi meter was imposed as the norm to calculate Taxi fare, we passengers, were the ones who benefited the most.

There was no more price negotiation, a machine shows what is owed for the trip.

This is what makes current technology exciting for us again. Despite the Taxi meter norm there were many more ways for cabbies to rip us off our hard earned dollar. Most notorious one I can think of right now is taking the longer route so the meter can click in more money. This has changed with modern GPS (SatNav) systems where I can turn that on my smart phone and see the fastest route to my destination and call out the cabbie if they are going the long way.

Current technology also includes the very convenient Cashless payment, getting a cab come to me within a few minutes or scheduling advance trips to the airport and paying a fee based on accurate distance calculation.

I love the fact that technology has empowered me to get the best decision and make my dollar go further. This includes more efficient planning of my time. Both time and money savings would be impossible without the modern taxi fare calculators as software of many kinds.

 

Techie – Technology should only be good both for Taxi drivers and passengers:

Taxi fare calculation software is no novelty. It may have come around just a short few years ago but with fast advance of technology these days we can barely keep up with everything new.

There are quite a few flaws in almost any taxi fare calculating software on the market at the moment. It would either be distance price not including time calculation. Or price would be so low that the drivers will make close to nothing after expenses. But it is not supposed to be like that.

Yes, it’s the Wild West all over again. Taxi fare calculation is a “prime real estate” that everyone wants to lay hands on. Especially after Uber showed the world that “Eldorado” (read Car Sharing) is real.

Many companies rush to create software solutions, taxi apps, new era fare calculators based on GPS data. Some of them will be close to get it right but most of them won’t. It’s a race after all and it is a dirty one.

We can see the benefits for riders – they are quire obvious. Benefits for Drivers and Taxi companies are there too. If you have a taxi company and don’t use any booking software I would be very surprised if you are going to be in business for long.

If you haven’t got a booking form on your website yet. One that can capture online payments, schedule trips and block off car and driver availability. Then you definitely need one. There are many available online. Just do some research.

 

Conclusion.

  • Taxi drivers are scared and will always be bothered by New technology. Heck, the driverless car is coming, what now?
  • Passengers actually benefit the most from new technology coming into effect. The taxi meter in 1907 came for them and new taxi software and apps are here for them now.
  • Technology companies will exploit new possibilities that the shift of the market brings. Techies are always forward (sometimes too futuristic) thinkers but sometimes they just get things right.

Taxi fare calculation can be done via technology, but in the end it is not as important how it’s done, what’s the effect of it to all parties in that business transaction is what matters most.

Imagine the Taxi fare calculator a 100 years ago, now imagine the one coming in 100 years…

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