Forget whistling or even raising that hand to get that cab. Just use your cell phone.
Blackberry users can rejoice, and thank RideCharge while they are at it, for releasing a new service that allows cell phone users to hail a taxi and actually pay for it all on their cell phones.
Taxi Magic for BlackBerry is now available in San Francisco and San Jose. It is already available for iPhone users.
"You used to have to hunt down a phone number and wait on hold only to be left wondering if the taxi would come at all," said Sanders Partee, president of RideCharge. "With Taxi Magic...you just touch a button, a cab is on the way and you know when it's coming."
Taxi Magic eliminates the uncertainty of knowing whether your taxi will show up by providing real-time updates that the car is actually on its way, what the car number is, and when it will arrive. The service connects passengers' smart phones directly to taxi companies' dispatch and cashiering systems, letting them book a taxi instantly with leading Bay Area cab companies such as Luxor Cab, and Yellow & Checker Cabs of San Jose and Silicon Valley.
RideCharge lets passengers pay the metered fare and tip quickly at the end of the ride by using their mobile phone to charge a credit card securely stored on line, rather than
having to hand over cash or a credit card to a driver. Passengers automatically receive an electronic receipt by e-mail, making it easy to track their taxi expenses -- a favorite feature for business travelers.
BlackBerry users can now get RideCharge by sending an email from their BlackBerry to email@example.com. iPhone users can download the Taxi Magic application from
iTunes, and anyone can book a taxi on line at RideCharge.com. The service is also available in 30 cities across the country.