If none of your ride-finding apps have felt just right, you’re about to have one more option to get a car to pick you up.
Taxi app Flywheel is throwing its name in to the 120-day ride service ring. As “the non-a**hole alternative to Uber,” the company partners with licensed taxi drivers and businesses to provide rides through its app. Similar to Portland taxis using Curb, riders have the choice to physically or digitally hail a cab and pay on their smartphones. Flywheel said to start, Broadway cab drivers are partnering with the company.
“We have been keeping tabs on Portland, and see that there’s clearly a demand there for a company that brings great mobile technology to the taxi industry to improve the transportation experience for consumers and allow cabs to compete,” Flywheel CEO Rakesh Mathur said in an email.
Taxi drivers using Flywheel are assigned requested rides closest to their location, and are charged 10 percent of the fare.
California-based Flywheel is currently in five other West Coast cities, including San Francisco where the city’s oldest cab company DeSoto completely rebranded itself as a Flywheel fleet.
“Taxis have gotten their ass kicked,” said DeSoto owner Hansu Kim in an interview with SFGate in February. “This is a counterpunch to Uber and Lyft. We have to make sure the public knows they can use an app to book and pay for a cab.”
Last week, Uber and Lyft started operating in the Rose City for the next four month. Portland City Council will collect data on wait time and ride requests to determine what changes should be made to current for-hire transportation laws. But nothing is guaranteed; city commissioners could still kick the companies out following the trial period.