Managing taxi services as part of your transportation program
Transportation programs that provide rides to the elderly, special needs, and disabled community have a variety of potential ways to provide those rides. Options include volunteer drivers that use their vehicles, in-house owned vehicles such as buses/vans/sedans, Uber/Lyft ride-hailing services, or taxi services. The cost of these transportation options varies significantly from volunteer drivers which are the least expensive to the most expensive which is typically using taxi services. There are a couple of advantages though in using taxi services including:
- Last minute booking: in a typical transportation scenario driver cancellations, vehicle break-downs, rides that are not picked up by volunteers, and many other reasons can cause a situation where a passenger might not be picked up for their booked ride. In this case, taxi services are available to be called on-demand to satisfy these exceptions. Usually, if your transportation service has a goal of high quality-of-service to your riders, this option of having taxi services is a must
- Reliable pickups: taxi service’s reliability is typically the foundation of its reputation. If you need a ride, the infrastructure and incentive systems of taxi services enable on-time pickup behavior for either advanced booking rides or on-demand rides. So if you need to have a ride and you need it quickly then leveraging taxi services is a good idea
- Ride area coverage: taxis serve most urban and rural areas of the world. With this high volume of taxi providers, it is a high likelihood that when you need a ride there will be a provider available and nearby.
Here are a couple of ways to integrate taxi services into your transportation program yet still be cost-effective,
- For programs that offer taxi vouchers to their passengers a simple way to track what has been given out and when is a key to keeping costs manageable. SPEDSTA offers a complete passenger ride accounting module, which allows accounting of how many vouchers have been provided, how much a passenger has contributed, and ways to easily report on those costs.
- Sometimes when mixing a volunteer driver program with a taxi service it is necessary to book rides directly with a taxi provider. SPEDSTA offers a direct booking feature with taxi providers that in real-time alerts them of those rides, allows them to communicate with your dispatchers, and allows for easy passenger payments and payouts to drivers.
- Last-minute bookings depend on the availability and proximity of drivers to the passengers’ pick-up location. SPEDSTA’s GPS and location awareness of drivers allows dispatchers to be more informed when selecting taxi services for rides.
The use of taxi services can be an expensive option to use, but in some cases might be the best option for your passenger to get to their medical appointment or critical health destination. Having a platform like SPEDSTA enables your program to run at a low cost but allows the nuances of using a taxi service when needed.