Metro Taxi App Now Available

Liana Teixeira

Stop waving those arms and whip out your smartphones everyone, because the days of flagging down a cab are long gone. Connecticut’s full-service taxi company, Metro Taxi, recently launched the “Metro Cab App,” a mobile application that lets people book taxis through their iPhones, Androids or tablets.

This is a significant leap for the West Haven-based taxi company, which has become Connecticut’s first taxicab service to utilize an on-demand cab service using customized mobile software. The app uses Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking technology.

In the middle of a meeting and don’t feel like stepping out to call a cab? Need a ride back to campus after a night out in downtown New Haven? Just download the free app and schedule a taxi via text. The company is also introducing web-booking, so individuals may request a cab online.

Additionally, repeat customers have the option of using instant voice recognition (IVR) to schedule a cab. Bill Scalzi, Metro Taxi president and CEO, spoke with the Charger Bulletin about the innovative service now being offered by his company. “It’s so convenient,” he said, “especially for students.” When developing the app, Scalzi said he had students in mind, particularly University of New Haven students due to the proximity factor. Since its initial launch a few weeks ago, Scalzi said, many UNH students have been using the app. On weekends, there will now be a sign posted in front of Maxcy Hall which will include a QR code; the code will allow students to download the app right then and there if desired.

“Clearly, the public is eager for new mobile phone applications that cater to fast-paced lives and make services and travel as convenient, modern and hassle-free as possible,” Scalzi said in a press release. “Metro Taxi is keeping Connecticut on the leading edge of technology; availing its residents and the state’s visitors with on-demand taxi service from the quick touch of their smart phones,” said Scalzi.

Metro Taxi has made significant leaps and bounds in the past few years when it comes to incorporating new technologies into their cab service. For example, in 2010, Matro Taxi became the first Connecticut taxicab company to install rear-seat payment technology. Passengers can now make “point-of-sale” payments without having to carry cash. “In the two years that Metro Taxi has used rear-seat payment technology, credit card usage has increased more than 500 percent,” said the release. Now, Matro Taxi can add mobile app to their list of high-tech improvements.

Metro Taxi isn’t the only taxi company catching on to the mobile app trend. This type of technology is being quickly adopted by highly-populated metropolitan areas such as Boston, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Memphis, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Now that the people of Connecticut know the mobile app exists, how does it work? The Metro Cab App can be used on an iPhone (iOS 4.3 or later) and an Android. They can connect to the Internet via data networks or wireless.

A press release issued by Nobile Communications International detailed the step-by-step process to accessing the app:

“The Metro Taxi logo will appear on the face of the user’s phone. One need only tap on the icon and the message “locate me” will appear. Using GPS technology, the Metro Cab App will automatically locate the customers and offer them a pick up at that location. The user will be prompted via a map-view screen to drop a pin button to verify their preferred pick up location. Once confirmed by the customer by the touch of an icon, a trip request will immediately be sent to Metro Taxi and the customer will be notified of the taxicab number en route to their pick up location. The taxi booking technology will also offer the customer the option to request a different date and time of pick up, a different address, or any other specific customer request.”

Metro Taxi also offers “cash-less” cab rides. This includes the University Ride (URide) Safe® card for college and university students. To order a metro taxi cab by text message, dial (203) 535-9220. After indicating a pick up address, date and time you want transportation, you will then receive a six-digit fare confirmation. To schedule a metro taxi cab online, go to http://www.metrotaxict.com/bookacab/ . To schedule a metro taxi cab by instant voice recognition (IVR), call (203) 777-7777.