Since smartphones hit the market, there have been drastic changes in how consumers and companies do business. For many businesses, for example like healthcare, where nowadays developers fastly creating a telemedicine app to fit the global needs, or just particularly service-related companies, the vast majority of customer contact is online, often using a smartphone app. This is particularly true in the transportation sector.
With the quick response time provided by rideshare programs such as Uber or Lyft, many transportation companies are losing market share rapidly. In order to stay competitive in many markets, these companies are finding it necessary to change how they do business, including taxi application development, otherwise known as creating their own taxi app for iOS and Android phones.
Why Transportation Companies Need a Smartphone App
Studies show that 67% of individuals prefer scheduling services through apps or chat over traditional phone calls. Therefore to keep up with those changes, transportation companies and taxi services should seriously consider developing an app for their business. In fact, taxi application development is almost guaranteed to bring business your way, especially when compared with companies that schedule rides exclusively via phone call.
Additionally, in the long run, a taxi app can end up saving money for your transportation business. Once an app is developed and deployed, the administrative costs for your business will decrease considerably. Rather than employ a dispatch service team, the app will schedule and deploy drivers as needed. Depending on the size and scope of the business, managing the scheduling can become an almost fully automated process.
Important “MUSTS” For a Taxi Service App
Selecting the right team of developers for creating your transportation app is important. The app needs to be user friendly from both a passenger and driver perspective. Not only do you want your customers to be able to schedule services quickly and efficiently, but it’s also equally important to ensure that the app helps streamline processes for your drivers as well.
From a business perspective you want an app that will:
- Dispatch drivers based on location – assignments are sent based on the closest available driver, not the driver waiting for the longest.
- Utilizes a real-time traffic and map service, that will calculate fares based on estimated time and distance.
- Tracks the total amount of time driver(s) is on the clock and each pickup/drop off location.
- Allows for payment through the app using a variety of payment methods (PayPal, cash app, credit card).
- Allows customers to rate their experience.
From a customer perspective, the app requires the following functionality
- Allows customers to schedule rides several days in advance.
- Allows customers to register and input a payment method that is saved in the system.
- Provides the customer with the name, and photo of their driver prior to arrival
- Provides a real-time map showing the driver’s location and tracks their arrival for pick-up
- Allows customers to rate their experience
Taxi App Components
- Registration screen – customers must be able to input their demographic information to be saved for future use. (approx 25-35 hours per platform)
- Location tracking – the app must be able to provide real-time tracking of customer location. (approx 40-50 hours per platform)
- Booking screen – the app must include a section where users can see and select car preferences, pick-time times, availability, etc. (approx 55-65 hours per platform)
- Pricing model – real-time pricing is required, whether based on time of day, length of ride, type of care, or service. Customers need to be able to review prices prior to booking a service. (approx 25-35 hours per platform)
- Payment and ratings – customers require a screen allowing them to select and input a payment method and save for future use. (approx 15 hours per platform) and rate their experience with their driver
- Application and Profile portion – This area is required to store driver data, license info, demographics, car information (approx 20-35 hours per platform)
- Driver Status/Schedule – Drivers must be able to sign onto the service as “active” and able to receive work. Hours worked need to be accurately tracked. (approx 30-40 hours per platform)
- Booking Notifications – Drivers must be able to see current open requests for service and be able to accept or deny the jobs. (approx 50-60 hours per platform)
- Location tracking and navigation – Driver’s locations, as well as the distance to passenger’s current locations and final destinations, need to be tracked in real-time, including traffic patterns, and updates. (approx 40-50 hours per platform)
- Pricing and income tracking – The app must be able to estimate the pay rate for accepting an assignment based on time of day, length of trip, etc. ( 15-20 hours per platform)
Aside from the live apps that need to be built in iOS and Android, a back-end database that includes customer and driver data must be built, along with an interface to allow service teams to connect with customers and drivers as necessary. Additionally, quality assurance and pre-deployment testing would also be included in the back-end time commitment (85-105 hours)
So, how much does it cost to make a taxi app? The average cost per hour for a developer varies, but using a median hourly rate of $70/hr per developer, we estimate the cost for building a basic taxi app to be between $50,050 to $62,650. For niche services or additional services above and beyond basic pickups and drop-offs, additional development costs would apply.
Benefits of Using Transportation/Taxi Apps
Using a smartphone application to assist in managing your transportation services can truly benefit your business. By providing real-time information on drivers, fares, and pick-up/drop-off locations, owners/administrators can see driver information at a glance, allowing them to better understand staffing needs, address issues of inefficiency, identify peak times and locations, and better prepare for future scheduling.
In the age of smartphones and scheduling apps, being able to adjust business practices to meet the needs of clients is essential, but in the long run, utilizing a taxi app to help manage your transportation business will offer you greater benefits as well.