Call a cab at touch of a button

Black cabs
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Blackpool cabbies are using technology to keep ahead of potential competition from car-sharing services such as Uber which have launched in other towns and cities in the UK.

Cab:app works in a similar way to Uber by enabling people to call a taxi to their current location using an in-app map on their mobile phone.

Blackpool was one of the first places to introduce the free app in 2012, but the system has recently been relaunched.

It also lets passengers pre-book journeys and decide before travelling whether to pay by cash or card and track driver location when they are en-route.

Bill Lewtas, of the Blackpool Licensed Taxi Operators Association (BLOTA), said: “Blackpool taxi drivers are happy to support cab:app. Demand for taxis is of course high at this time of year and delays sometimes occur. So if people are prepared to download the app they will be impressed with this facility.

“The app shows the location of all the cab:app taxis in that area and customers are then able to track the vehicle as it approaches.”

He added: “At Christmas, sometimes people get desperate and try to hail a private hire vehicle but if they get in, they are not insured if there is an accident.

“Also, if you lose your phone while in a taxi, you can contact cab:app and they will be able to trace it for you.”

Blackpool cabbie Steve Buckley added: “Cab:app allows you to hail a cab at the touch of a button.You can track your cab using the in app mapping, you can also pre book you cab and for longer journeys you can have a quoted price you can also earn cab miles that you can use on future journeys.

“The app shows you the driver’s details and also the cab details this stops any chance of getting in the wrong vehicle. All the vehicles and drivers are licensed by Blackpool Council.”

At the moment there are no licensing applications in Blackpool for Uber taxis which have sparked controversy elsewhere.