DC Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV), formerly known as the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission (DCTC), wanted to provide a way for consumers to hail cabs using their smartphone. This app would help meet the rising expectations of customers and the popularity of Uber and Lyft.
DC Taxi drivers must comply with city laws for accessibility that are not required in other consumer ridership apps. We needed to design the app to allow people to request vehicles with accessibility features and to allow for cash payments. Taxi riders and drivers are not always the most technical-savvy. Careful consideration and training was needed to get the entire fleet of taxi drivers onboard with how to use the app and why.
Project Approach and Results
In collaboration with DFHV and Triage Group, we designed the passenger and driver apps for iPhone and Android. Taxi riders can easily choose from a regular, a large or a wheelchair-accessible taxi. The fare and time estimate are displayed before hailing the cab. Once a rider taps “hail,” the closest taxi is dispatched to pick them up. When the driver arrives, the rider can choose to pay through the app or swipe their credit card in the taxi. Communication between riders and drivers is much easier when the destination is sent automatically to the app on the driver’s phone.
We created a short training video to train 6,500 DC drivers how to use the app and why it improves customer service and their business. A website was created to promote the app and provide a link to download the app.
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