I’m not sure if there is anything more iconic to New York City than the yellow taxi cab. Maybe Frank Sinatra’s charming voice; the Yankees pinstripes perhaps. But a taxi is timeless, and ubiquitous—in Manhattan at least.
I assume the eternal spasmodic flow of yellow cabs pulling up to the concrete sidewalk and aggressively wedging into street traffic will never be absent from an aerial view of the city. That said, the classic taxi service is changing in New York City, all thanks to technology.
Companies like Uber and Lyft have technologically revolutionized the taxi service around the globe, offering cheaper rides and better driver salary by running the business out of a smartphone app. (Check out Matt Neigh’s take on Providing Support in a Mobile World.) Connecting drivers to riders faster cuts down the unpaid time from job to job and idling time. These on-demand rides at cheaper rates than the traditional taxi service offers a new choice to customers. Assuming Uber and Lyft continue to grow (barring legal worries), traditional taxi services will have to compete in price and service, so creating a better service for the customer.
The disruption is creating immediate benefits to customers. Lyft moved into New York City on July 7, 2014 with a strategy to infiltrate the ride-sharing market space. Their plan? Add customers the traditional taxi service and Uber do not currently service. Lyft now offers coverage to Brooklyn and Queens, boroughs where it is often difficult to find a taxi and public transportation is inconvenient.
Technology is elevating the taxi industry. Uber and Lyft utilize technology to offer better rates and wider coverage. As technology continues to disrupt traditional business and solve problems, it will produce better overall customer experience in every industry.
How is technology disrupting (positively or negatively) your everyday activities?