Maaxi’s Taxi Sharing App Lets You Share A Cab Across London
Maaxi, the black cab sharing app funded by Nat Rothschild, launches in London on Wednesday
London has a pretty crowded taxi-booking space, so with each new entrant comes a slightly different twist on how it promises to get you from A to B. Ride-sharing is on the rise, but Uber is yet to launch either UberPool or UberPop in Britain.
Taking advantage of the gap is newcomer Maaxi, an app that allows you to book individual seats in one of London’s black cabs, and thereby cut down on your costs. Think of it more like reserving a seat on a train or plane than hailing a car.
The company says it aims to bring the cost of door-to-door transportation within the realms of public transport, which would equate to just a few pounds for most one-way journeys, so it’ll need to be pretty cheap relative to the standard cost of a black cab if it’s to succeed.
Its founder and chief executive, Gabriel Campos, said the app will provide a cheaper alternative to expensive black taxis and to minicab-hailing apps such as Uber, which hikes its prices during periods of high demand. By contrast, “when there’s more demand, we are cheaper”, he said.
When you launch the app on your smartphone, you can set various parameters (price, time, exclusive or shared ride, etc.) and review a live “departures board” to see which rides are available. With 2,000 taxi drivers signed up for the service, the hope is that it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an option that suits. But again, it’s the demand from users that will ultimately decide whether the service is actually useful. If you need a ride immediately, but the next available car-share is 30 minutes away, the app is useless. Still, the concept is unique for London and should help Maaxi stand out against the likes of Uber and Hailo.