Flywheel To Merge Old School Taxi Hailing With App Technology

The taxi-hailing app touts old-school cab hailing with new-school cashless payment.

Flywheel, the app used by some cab services, is taking customers back to the roots of the taxi business — letting them flag down any passing cab.

On Thursday, the taxi-hailing app announced a new feature called “Pay by Flywheel” which allows passengers to grab a cab from any street corner, and pay for the ride through the app.

“We’re giving people the ability to get in and out of a taxi without having to fish for cash or a credit card — something that’s not possible with rideshares,” said Flywheel CEO Rakesh Mathur.

Flywheel’s service is similar to ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft, which let passengers hire an on-demand ride and pay automatically through the app. But instead of pairing passengers with drivers who use their own cars, Flywheel partners with taxi companies.

Flywheel is looking to distinguish itself in the super-competitive world of ride-hailing, which is dominated by Uber and Lyft. That won’t be easy.

Since Flywheel works directly with taxi services, it could have an edge to counter its deeper pocketed rivals. Cab companies have already hammered out regulatory and insurance policies with city and state officials, while the ride-sharing industry remains in flux. About 100 million cab rides take place in the US each month, Mathur said.

“A unique value exists with taxis, which is the fact that you can walk right into them,” Mathur said. Pay by Flywheel is “built to give people the best of both the digital and physical worlds of transportation, so that whether it’s most convenient to order a car with your app or hop into a cab in front of you, the whole process is integrated.”

Source: CNET