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Taxis, Beware: St. Louis to Get First App-Based Car Service, Carmel


uberdriver.jpg
jseattle on flickr
A driver for Uber, a car-hailing service based in San Francisco.
Uber popularized personal car services for the taxi-riding market. After launching on smartphones in 2010, the company has moved to 60 cities all over the world, quickly attracting millions of dollars from investors such as Google Ventures, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Goldman Sachs.

Here's how ride-hailing apps work:

First, choose your car. Companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar offer several options at different price points, from a regular taxi to an SUV up to a high-end luxury car.

Then, tell your driver where to pick you up. The app tells you how far away your car is.

Once you've reached your destination, you don't need to pull out your wallet to pay. Uber requires a credit card number to be kept on file, and the company charges -- by the mile or by the minute, depending on how far you go -- to your card automatically. Drivers do not get tips.

It's hard to guess how much a ride will be since many of the car services change their prices depending on demand. For example, during a New York snowstorm, some of Uber's rates jumped from $25 to $175 because everyone wanted a car.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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15 comments
andrew684
andrew684

These taxi booking apps are quite easiest way to book taxis as well as transact the money to cab companies through online. Seems after releasing the taxi dispatch system like uber, halio, and taxi mobility, the way of taxi booking has been changed for ever.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

.


            Boycott the Greedy Big $$ Taxi Cartels !!


Support your Local, Independent Ride Sharing / Car Pooling Service !!

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

Saint Louis Taxi (County Cab) has an app already. Charges standard rates. I do not like the idea of a car with flexible rates. You'll never know if you are being ripped off until you get the bill. Too late.

Dean
Dean

There are dozens of iPhone and Android apps that work with taxis that charge regulated fares, not some capricious corporate-controlled ever-changing prices. Problem is - Uber, Lyft, Sidecar - are being readied for IPOs and as such are being pumped by Silicon Valley "entrepreneurs" tirelessly, on every opportunity they get.
Truth remains - all so called ride-"sharing" companies are based on a flawed
business model that survives by sifting local profits toward their own pockets.
Once regulators realize what's at stake with "ride-sharing” scheme - they
will, have no doubt, regulate them same way as they regulate taxis now. The
goal of Uber, Lyft and Sidecar is to grow as fast as they can until enough people
wake up to the twisted reality of their machination. And btw - when your local taxes increase - thank Uber and Lyft - because what was local profit and city revenue is now gone to some offshore account, soon to be joined with future IPO billions. Incredible how people lack the most basic ability to analyze anything these days.

Tom Schuettler
Tom Schuettler

I've used Uber in Chicago....its an awesome service. Too bad the STL taxi commission is so hell bent on running an antiquated monopoly. Just one of a thousand things that are ruining downtown.

rumagogo
rumagogo

Finally. The taxis in the city are horrid. I live 5 miles from downtown and in the past three months have had 3 no-shows from taxis. Unless you happen to be at a hotel, airport, or casino where the cabs are on standby, it is a challenge of epic proportions to get one to pick you up.

Paul Deal
Paul Deal

Taxi commission is more concerned with limiting competition than improving safety. Can't wait for Lyft or Uber to get here.

Nellie Craver
Nellie Craver

I've heard of this! My sis in law is in CA and she's used uber. It's supposed to be really convenient!

Rachele Moresi
Rachele Moresi

It's Lyft actually. They've posted ads looking for drivers in the STL area.

Danielle M Anaya
Danielle M Anaya

Ooh does this mean we will cars with bright pink mustaches all over town?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@JamesMadison  "You'll never know if you are being ripped off until you get the bill. Too late."


So you must really be terrified of the Stock and Commodities markets. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@JamesMadison  "You'll never know if you are being ripped off until you get the bill. Too late."


You must really fear the Stock and Commodities markets.



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