Public transportation is the backbone of any country. People commute to and from work on a daily basis around the world and not everyone has a vehicle of their own. Students, tourists, and workers, everyone needs to get from one place to another, and sometimes the distances they have to travel are unimaginable without a ride.
However, not everyone is inclined to travel in public buses and trains, mostly because they are crowded and take a lot of time to reach from point A to B with multiple stops along the way. Waiting for these public transports also takes considerable time off one’s schedule, which can cause people to lose valuable hours off their work and school.
Taxis are one simple solution to all of these problems. With a slight increase in fare, taxis provide an alternative to public transport and are as efficient as having your own vehicle, minus the liability to look after the vehicle, refuel, service, and pay for insurance. Did you know that people have been hailing taxi cabs to travel around the world since the 17th century?
You read that right, people would travel in horse-drawn carriages to travel from one part of the town to another in the olden days before even cars were invented, and the trend only kept spreading. It’s surprising for many to learn that the concept of taxi predates the existence of cars. In the United States, taxis powered by gasoline fuel first started in New York City in 1907, and have been an integral part of the city ever since. The benefits of taxi use soon spread, gaining popularity across all towns and cities across the world.
With the development of internet technology and smartphones, people have been finding ways to do things with their phones without having to interact with people or wait in queues. Tasks like booking a dental appointment, buying movie tickets, and ordering food have been made much easier with the help of smartphone apps, and booking a taxi is no different.
Whereas people formerly waited on the side of the road for a taxi to pass so they could flag it down and ask for a ride, this was later made easier by agencies that would send a taxi to your location when called. Smartphones completely revolutionized this process by allowing people to hail taxis from the comfort of their homes just by tapping a few times on their smartphones.
In 2022, everyone probably already knows how to book a cab from their smartphones using apps like Uber and Lyft. However, not everyone is aware of how the technology actually works. And if you are looking to dip your toes into the taxi/ride-sharing business, it is important to understand some basic concepts behind the whole operation.
In this article, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of taxi booking apps, including how to build your own taxi booking platform and create a business that will serve you for years to come.
What You’ll Learn In This Post
- What is a Taxi Booking App
- Market Trends of Taxi Booking app in 2022
- Top Taxi Booking Apps in 2022
- Essential features of a taxi Booking app
- Steps to build a taxi booking app
- Taxi booking app development cost and considerations
- How to market your taxi booking app
What Is a Taxi Booking App?
Taxi booking apps are one of the most popular mobile apps in 2022. The rise of ride-sharing and taxi booking apps has only increased over the years ever since Uber first came out to set the industry trend. These applications let users call a taxi to their location from their fingertips. Not just that, taxi booking apps also allow users to see the estimated fare and time it would take for them to reach their desired destination. So, how does a taxi booking app work?
Booking a taxi or a ride using an auto booking app is a fairly simple process. You open the desired application and allow the GPS on your phone to determine your current location. You then type in the destination and tap on proceed. The application then shows you the distance, travel time, and estimated cost of your journey and, if you are comfortable with the numbers shown, you tap “book” to place your call.
This allows the servers to search for taxis available near you. The application server then sends an alert to all nearby taxi drivers who use the same app and informs them of your request. When a driver accepts your request, you are informed of the estimated time it would take for your ride to arrive, which is usually just a couple of minutes. It’s that simple.
Taxi Booking App Market Trends
Taxi booking apps are popular now more than ever. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, people have become reluctant to travel by public transport. This led to the rise in popularity of taxi booking apps since they require no human interaction to book and the driver and passenger are separated by some sort of a screen while inside the cabs, adding an extra layer to health security.
Globally, the taxi booking app industry is estimated to be worth around $276 billion in 2022 alone. This number will likely keep rising for the next decade or so. At the current CAGR of 9 percent, the taxi booking app and ride-sharing app industry will be worth nothing short of $354.2 billion by 2027.
Figures show that taxi and ride sharing apps hold a fair share of the market under their wing. Currently, there are companies like Uber and Lyft that dominate the US taxi booking app market, whereas statistically Ola in India and Didi Dache available exclusively in China are far more popular taxi booking apps simply because of the huge population of these Asian countries.
The global market trend indicates that the popularity of ride sharing and taxi booking apps is increasing exponentially across the Asia Pacific region compared to Europe, where most people commute via their electric cars or bicycles amid growing concerns about environmental preservation.
Top 3 Taxi Booking Apps
There are many taxi booking apps and ride sharing apps available in the United States. Some are region specific and only serve some cities and towns, whereas there are some industry giants that have a regiment of taxis and cars under their belt and provide their services across the continental US. Listed here are some of the big names in ride sharing and taxi booking apps that are currently loved the most by people in the US.
Uber is typically the first name that comes to mind when people think of a taxi booking application. Widely considered the trendsetter in the industry, Uber has been dominating the taxi booking app industry across the US, Europe and Asia ever since its conceptualization. Uber was founded in 2009, and after a decade, now serves as a ride-sharing app, as well as a food delivery, courier and freight delivery service.
Uber boasts a dynamic pricing system, which means prices for rides may differ from time to time for the same ride, based on local supply and demand at the time of booking. Uber has successfully established itself as the staple of ride-sharing apps due to its attractive features and affordable pricing.
Related Article: How to Make an App like Uber
Lyft is another popular ride sharing/taxi hailing app in the US. Like Uber, this company is based in San Francisco, and was founded as a competition to the latter in 2012. Apart from providing ride sharing and taxi services, Lyft also provides rental cars and bikes to its customers. With a market share of 28 percent, Lyft stands second only to Uber in the United States in the taxi booking app industry as of 2022.
Lyft charges a 20 percent commission from the drivers for each trip made. Furthermore, it is also the higher paying platform among the top ride sharing apps with drivers earning on average $17 an hour, which is $2 more than what they make as an Uber driver.
Flywheel is a little different application when it comes to ride-sharing. Not only is it a ride-sharing/taxi hailing application, but it doubles down as a taxiOS also known as Alternative Technology Pilot. To put it simply, on top of allowing users to hail cabs like Uber and Lyft, Flywheel introduced a smartphone taxi meter that replaces traditional taxi hardware like GPS, Fare Meter, and Radio.
This revolutionary technology is what makes Flywheel stand out among its competitors. Rather than encouraging individuals to enlist their cars on the app for commission, Flywheel went ahead and updated existing taxis in cities like New York to compete with other ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.
Essential Features of a Taxi Booking App
There are some essential features that a taxi/ride-sharing application must have to ensure the platform is easy to use for the passengers and drivers alike. Apart from having intuitive UI and UX designs and a solid network of local drivers, taxi booking apps must also have features that give a sense of security to the passengers and some accountability on the driver’s part.
We have listed some of the core features that are absolutely necessary for a taxi booking app to succeed in 2022.
This should go without saying, but the only function of a taxi booking app is to let users schedule a ride. Everything apart from that is what makes the entire process easy and secure for everyone involved. Taxi booking apps allow users to book a cab or a ride to travel from one place to another.
This is made possible by the integration of digital maps and a communication system on the application that allows users to select their point of origin and destination for the journey and see estimated fare and duration for the proposed ride.
GPS integration in the taxi sharing app also simplifies the process for both the passengers and the drivers. With GPS navigation, people can see where their taxi is and how long it would take for it to arrive as they wait for their ride. Additionally, GPS tracking allows drivers to navigate through various parts of town that they might not be completely familiar with.
Having a GPS tracking system integrated into the taxi booking app also provides the passengers with a sense of security because they know where they are going and can be assured that the taxi booking company is keeping track of their ride, which means the driver would be unlikely to go rogue and take people somewhere they don’t want to go. This tracking system can be of aid to law enforcement agencies should a taxi driver drive a passenger somewhere that is not the destination they put in on the app while calling for a ride.
Having the ability to cancel rides is important for a traveler. Sometimes people might put in the wrong pick-up or drop-off points while hailing their ride and it could be disastrous if they could not change or cancel that ride before or during the journey. This feature is also useful for the drivers in case the passengers they pick up are not cooperating and are causing problems. Sometimes cabs might take longer than usual to arrive during rush hours and if people are in a hurry, they’re likely to cancel their booking and search for alternative ways to travel.
Having an integrated payment system within the taxi booking application is an important feature that just makes the app more usable and user-friendly. In the digital age, people are less inclined to carry cash with them, and having the ability to pay via their credit cards or digital wallets is a deal maker.
Not having payment systems integrated means the passenger and driver might have to deal with situations they don’t want like the passenger not having enough cash in hand or the driver not having the exact change to return after the end of the journey. For this reason, digital payment integration is the most desired feature in any online shopping or service booking application.
People love talking about things they like, but they talk more about things they don’t like. This includes positive and negative experiences while using any application or service. A taxi booking app must have a review system where riders can express their views about the application, the taxi booking company, and the ride in general.
A review system within the taxi booking app means people can thank or reprimand their drivers based on their performance, the condition of the vehicle, their attitude, and their friendliness. This means good drivers with good vehicles would get praise in forms of ratings and reviews, which serves as a positive reinforcement for them to keep doing better. It also allows passengers to feel secure during the ride when they see they are being driven by someone who was given a lot of positive reviews and comments by previous passengers.
6 Steps to Build a Taxi Booking App
Now that you have understood the basic concepts and functionality of ride-sharing/taxi booking apps, it’s time to learn more about what it takes to build one for yourself. Of course, entering a sea full of sharks like Uber and Lyft is no easy feat, but if you swim around the edges of the tank just for the beginning, you actually have a shot at success.
We have outlined some essential steps one must follow while developing their own taxi booking application in 2022.
1. Determine Niché
Everyone knows it’s tough to shake established companies off their podium. A new business starting out in the taxi booking app/ride-sharing industry should know what part of the market they want to set as their target. Having a definite niche helps break down the market into consumable sizes.
For example, there are ride-sharing apps in various countries where only female drivers are allocated to female passengers. There are also some ride-sharing apps that provide extra discounts to regular commuters traveling to and from the same route on a daily basis. Similarly, having a dedicated ride-sharing/taxi booking app for students could also be beneficial. In the end, it all comes down to your creativity and innovation.
Determining a niche and focusing on a portion of the demographic is far easier to start a business if you keep their needs in mind. After all, we all love dedicated services and people are more likely to choose apps and services that closely relate to them on a personal level.
2. Design App
Because the design of the application is something that makes or breaks the approval ratings, a mobile application must be easy to navigate and able to be used by different age groups. After going through preliminary planning and research, UI/UX designers should be hired to create a mockup of the app that showcases the user interface, functionalities, app pages, and everything in between.
Proper UI/UX designing principles should be followed to make sure the operation and user interaction is smooth and fluid to make your project the best taxi booking app out there.
Related Article: What Are Wireframes in UI/UX Design and Why Are They Important?
3. Develop Taxi Booking App
After designing the application, it is now time to develop the taxi booking app and give it an actual form. Now, most people do not have the necessary professional skills to code applications, thus it is best to hire experts who have experience in mobile app development to build your project. Always remember to check the portfolio of the professionals you’re hiring to make sure they are the right fit for your job. Also, pre-negotiate post-release terms and service options to make sure they stick around to help patch the application in the future, upgrade the database and services, and so on.
Basically, the taxi booking app should be split into two or three parts:
The taxi booking/ride sharing application must have a customer portal. This is the application that is posted on the app stores. People use this to create their accounts, log in and book rides, and hail cabs. This portal needs to be fluid with an intuitive UI to help people book rides in a matter of seconds. IT should boast features like map integration, GPS tracking, fare calculation and a review system.
The other half of the ride sharing application is the driver portal. This is the application that drivers use to find potential passengers. This application needs functions like maps, GPS tracking, fare calculation, ride records and a payment management system. This application portal has more functionality than the customer portal. It should also have the option to manage driver details, contact the parent company in case of emergencies and allow drivers to keep track of their progress, and see user complaints and feedback.
The admin panel is the third leg of the taxi booking tripod. This portal is used and monitored by the administrators in the company. This portal is the one with the highest number of functionality, including driver management, feedback management, payroll management, inventory, and fleet.
The admin portal can either be in the form of a separate mobile application or as a web application that can be accessed from any device. It is also necessary to push important updates and news to both drivers and passengers who use the application on a regular basis. This is made possible by the admin portal, which makes controlling and maintaining the application manageable.
4. Test App
After completing the design and development stage, the application must go through rigorous testing before being launched to the public. A team of beta users should test the app for bugs and check for features that require polishing. Looking for bugs, minimal errors and glitches is a must, and the developers should ensure the application they designed is virtually perfect at the time of launch. There should be ample time allotted to testing, as launching a buggy app could ruin the reputation of the business before it even builds.
5. Deliver and Refine App
Ultimately, the taxi booking app can now be launched on the marketplace for users. This is done by publishing the cab booking app on Google Play Store for Android phones and the Apple Store for iPhones.
This step is simultaneously followed by taking feedback and criticism from the public, as an application can evolve into a finer form if input from users is taken into consideration. This feedback will ultimately help the app gain popularity among its user base.
Taxi Booking App Development Cost
The actual cost of a cab booking app development project is dependent on multiple variables. For starters, two separate teams of developers are needed to build native apps for iPhone and Android. However, if you want your ride-sharing app to be cross-platform you could save costs here. Apart from that, the size of the database, servers, room for scalability, and resource management all are factors that affect the total cost of the project.
While one could get a basic taxi booking app built for a couple of thousand dollars, something with advanced functionality, maps integration, GPS and all the features that we mentioned above might take the price up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This includes post-release support from the developers for a few years as well.
Deciding on the platform for your taxi booking app can be a dilemma at first. If you look at it statistically, an app dependent on public interaction is better off having its presence on both Android and iOS. Furthermore, it is cheaper to build a cross-platform app that increases your chances of doing so than native apps for both platforms.
Native apps are difficult and time consuming to build even with two separate teams working on different technology. However, a native app is more fluid and is able to utilize device hardware better than cross-platform apps. This is why big companies go for two separate native apps instead of cross-platform.
Integrating real-time maps with your taxi booking application is a must. This can be done by integrating Google Maps, which is widely used across the world and has highly accurate listings and naming of places and stores.
Having a real-time map means you need high-speed data servers with low latency that do not drop or hold data packets as they travel from the user’s device to the driver. It also requires a quick response from the server to make things as smooth as possible.
In addition to Google Maps, there are other variants of digital maps available at different price points, such as Apple Maps and Open Maps.
Building an MVP
While developing an application for businesses, developers must study the market in depth. Identifying and understanding the core issues that the application is supposed to address is what makes the app more viable. The concept of a Minimal Viable Product was put forth so businesses could focus solely on a specific purpose that makes the mobile application appealing to the users.
While designing a taxi booking app in 2022, one must keep in mind that the main idea behind the app is to provide taxi and ride-sharing services to people. Now, if you set a niche and target a specific part of the demographic, the application theoretically becomes an MVP. Every other feature besides the customer’s ability to book and cancel cabs is supposed to make the taxi booking app more appealing and powerful.
The idea behind MVP is cost savings in development and quick response to feedback from users. This information should be then used to upgrade and improve the application over time.
There are some things to consider, market-wise, before building and publishing your very own taxi booking app. Only developing and launching an application is not enough. One must ensure that the application gets enough following and a user base that drives business into the company. If people do not know much about the application, they’re unlikely to use it. There are some important aspects of marketing your newly built taxi booking app which we have listed here.
App Store Optimization
A highly productive form of organic marketing. ASO means you optimize your application on the app store that you’re publishing on. Including various related keywords, providing enough backlinks, and using proper descriptions and tags are what make any application come out on top of search results on the app stores.
Almost 70 percent of all application installs come from a search result and people are likely to install the top option with good ratings every time they search for an application. Just like SEO, ASO is important to make your app come out on top of search results whenever people search for the services you offer.
Related Page: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services
Google Search Ads
Another way of paid marketing is to publish Google Search Ads. Putting up Ads for your new taxi booking application can be fruitful in driving search traffic to the app store page. This is also economical since you are charged for each click made by a user rather than a flat-out monthly charge for just displaying the ads.
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads have been proven to be effective in promoting businesses, apps, products, and services throughout the world. If implemented with proper optimization techniques, PPC ads can drive huge amounts of traffic to your app page on the app stores.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the strongest tools for marketing your new product on the Internet.Platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be used to post organic content at almost zero cost. You can also post promoted content with a fixed advertisement campaign that runs for a desired period targeting a certain part of the demographic.
If targeted properly based on your niche, social media ads are precise and highly effective in conversions. There are options to place PPC ads as well, which work with algorithms of social media sites to make your ad visible to people that you specifically target.
Idea Maker’s Experience In Mobile Apps
Idea Maker has been in the software and application development business for more than half a decade. We have the knowledge, skill, and creativity required to fix any challenges faced by businesses in the digital age. From providing Software-as-a-service to developing web and mobile applications, Idea Maker brings in years of market experience in the field that will serve you the best.
We design and develop ERP management systems, portfolios, eCommerce websites, and business websites for schools, real estate, medical and tourism sectors, stores, salons, and many more.
Quick Friends is an exceptional example of a social media application that we recently developed for our client. Much like a taxi booking app, Quick Friends has Google Maps and a GPS system embedded into it, which allows users to see events and gatherings near them so they can join and make friends in real life.
The application is cross-platform, which means it was built from a single code base to run on both iPhone and Android. The application consists of features like connecting and chatting with people, managing friend lists, and hosting or managing events. There is also a group chat option for multiple people to discuss and share ideas at the same time.
Idea Maker is in the software industry to help you find business solutions. Here, we identify the problem before we sell you a product or a service. After identification of the problem, we team up with you and our analysts to come up with a solution that is viable and fruitful to you. We can guide your business to success with our innovation and help you leave a stronger digital footprint along the way. With our team of expert analysts, designers, and developers, along with our drive to succeed, IdeaMaker is the perfect partner that will take your idea and bring it to life in the form of a ride-sharing/taxi booking app.
Because, what is the point of developing an app if it isn’t going to intrigue people into using it? We make sure the application you imagined is what you get. Schedule a call with us today, and book your appointment to get a free business assessment from our team of expert business analysts and developers, and get a head start on your taxi booking app project. It’s time you set out to make a change in the world, and what’s a better partner for your journey to success than Idea Maker?
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