The Ride launched Canada's first national all-in-one taxi and transit app that includes taxi e-hailing, all means of public transit and car-sharing options across the country. The free mobile app, available for iOS and Android, allows users to e-hail the closest licensed taxi, find a carshare location, and plan their route on local transit options including subways, buses, LRTs and streetcars, as well as compare the estimated travel time and cost for each option.
Unlike other e-hailing apps, The Ride has partnered with leading local taxi fleets, and is directly connected to over 6,000 taxis as part of its e-hailing network at launch, making it the most comprehensive e-hailing app in Canada with more cab fleets connecting to The Ride every week; an additional 3,000 taxis are currently being integrated. By partnering with multiple taxi fleets, the app maximizes the number of drivers available and books one of the closest licensed taxis, regardless of company. Where e-hailing is currently not available, The Ride connects users to the dispatch of fleets representing all 25,000 additional taxis across Canada.
"Today's commuters, especially millennials, depend on technology and real time information to get around, and apps are a big part of this. So we set out to develop Canada's most comprehensive 'get-me-there' app," said Nick Quain, co-founder and CEO, CellWand. "The Ride is Canada's ultimate transportation solution because it includes every taxi company and combines access to all available public transit options, map directions, and carshare locations across Canada, with just a few taps within the app."
The Ride utilizes the user's location, allowing them to view and connect to a nearby taxi, track their ride once assigned and on route along with an automatically updating ETA. The app also supports driver ratings and The Ride's database tracks the ratings of individual drivers and cab companies, to ensure users get the best available option wherever they use the app. The Ride is partnered with local fleets providing standard taxi pricing, with no surge charges at any time, and every driver is fully trained, licensed and insured.
The Ride was developed by CellWand Communications, the Canadian mobile technology company behind the popular #TAXI service (Pound Taxi). Accessed by simply dialing #TAXI (#8294) on any mobile, the service has been used over 12 million times by Canadian mobile phone users to date. The Ride app leverages #TAXI's network in cities where there isn't a local fleet partner yet, so even in small towns and remote areas, users will always be connected to a dispatch to order a taxi. #TAXI enables The Ride app to connect users with taxis in over 700 Canadian cities and towns — virtually in every city or town where taxi service exists.
"The Ride is a great example of innovation within the regulated transportation industry and the Canadian Taxi Association is excited to see its launch. The app is a great service for Canadians and it aligns with existing city and transportation regulations," says Jim Bell, executive director of the Canadian Taxi Association and former general manager of Diamond Taxi in Toronto. "With no exclusive fleet affiliation, The Ride ensures the commuter is the main priority and offers one of the closest licensed taxis. I think this is the type of app our politicians and regulators need to look at as an example of the right way of innovating within our industry."
Users of The Ride can also enter their destination to compare estimated trip times and costs for various methods of transportation, including taxi and transit. If a user decides to take a taxi, they can order one of the closest available taxis through the app for a convenience fee of $2, or $1 if they connect directly to the first available dispatch. The Ride has partnered with major mobile carriers across Canada, so convenience fees will appear on users' wireless bill. Convenience fees will be waived during the first 30 days of use for all consumers.
The Ride is also the exclusive National Taxi and Transit App Sponsor of MADD Canada, a national charity dedicated to stopping impaired driving and supporting victims of impaired driving crimes. A portion of each convenience fee from every use of the app will go directly to MADD Canada.
"The Ride is a safe way for anyone to find a ride home, whether that's through a licensed taxi driver, or on public transit," said Andrew W. Murie, chief executive officer, MADD Canada. "Our message is all about planning ahead and getting home safely after drinking, which is why we partnered with The Ride to send that message to all Canadians. Using regulated, trained and properly-insured taxis is simply a safer way to go."
The Ride plans to integrate additional features in the app including in-app payment and bikeshare options soon.
The Ride is available for download on the App Store and Google Play store.