Thursday, January 29, 2015

Designated Driver

Can ZabKab kill the art of the taxi hail?


Everyone's got their own secret juju for hailing a cab — we thought that Catwoman cosplay outfit would be a total taxi magnet — but it almost never works.

A new iPhone app called ZabKab aims to totally upend NYC's tried-and-not-so-true system by sending vacant taxis straight to you.

And with over 13,000 yellow taxi drivers spending nearly a quarter of their shifts looking for a fare, it's about time for some digital intervention.

First, ZabKab displays a map with available taxis in your area. Press the giant neon green button — interface design is not the app's strong suit — and ZabKab-enabled taxis will come to you.

The app's free for you, and cabbies pay between $10 and $15 per month for the service.

Sure, it requires a solid user network: the more people who install ZabKab, the better it functions. But the crazy-high download demand since last week's launch is quickly testing the limits of ZabKab's servers — and that's a good sign.

Next upgrade request: finding cabs that go to Brooklyn without a whine.


Price: Free for iPhone here

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