Will Social Distancing Regulations Boost Taxi Booking Startups? | Hacker Noon

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@tushar-manhasTushar Manhas

I am a Digital Marketing Expert and eCommerce business consultant at FATbit Technologies.

In the past decade, mobile and internet technology has become more  accessible, which has changed the way of travelling. Ride hailing apps such Uber, Lyft or Grab  have  been preferred more by the riders to travel than other offline modes.

Uber has been an industry leader available in 65 countries and over 600 cities. According to stats, Uber has a global market value of $72 billion. There are many more mobile app based taxi booking companies along with Uber such as DiDi , Grab and Lyft. Many new startups are also entering the business every year to become part of a profitable industry.

However,  the Covid-19 pandemic has been a real setback for the ride-hailing industry with major players of the industry such as Uber , Lyft suffering heavy losses.

According to reports, Uber lost $2.9 billion in the first quarter of 2020 whereas Lyft ride hailing business is down by 70 percent. 

Change in Ride Hailing Business Way Of  Operations

The impact of Covid-19 pandemic has caused a change in the way ride hailing businesses are being operated. Some guidelines have been imposed by the businesses to cope with the pandemic and create trust among the customers.

Here are the  major guidelines issued by most ride-hailing companies:

  • Recently, Uber announced that covid19 safety measures, drivers will be required to go through an online checklist to confirm if they’re  wearing  a mask. Drivers also have to share a selfie of themselves wearing masks while driving.
  • Maximum two riders will be allowed to sit in a vehicle and only in the rear passenger seat.
  • Passengers are also allowed to cancel the rides if they do not feel safe travelling.
  • Drivers have to ensure that their vehicles’ common touch surfaces like door handle, windows and seats are well sanitized before starting a trip.
  • Drivers are advised not to touch riders belongings such as handbags, luggage etc.

As lockdown restrictions are lifting up slowly and steadily in different parts of the world, the ride hailing industry is coming back to track. In a recent interview, Uber CEO stated that the  company has already seen the worst of the pandemic and there is improvement in business in comparison to the early days of Covid19.

As people start going  back to work with the ease of lockdown restrictions the ride hailing services will again be preferred since they follow better safety measures and social distancing guidelines as compared to public transport.

Opportunity for New Startups

Currently, the conditions might not be the best for industry but it is expected not to take too long when ride hailing companies will start making profits again. 

As big players having suffered losses and need to gain customers’ trust again it could be the perfect opportunity for startups to enter the business. Earlier the businesses like Uber, Lyft and Grab were very dominant and it was not easy for startups to compete with giants of the industry.

Currently it appears as if the conditions are even stevens for everyone. A new startup with better Covid-19 safety measures, exciting offers and effective marketing strategies could make a name for themselves along with the big players of the business.

The importance should be given to Covid-19 safety measures to build trust among riders.

Launch Your Mobile App In Quick Time

To start a mobile app based taxi booking business you need a mobile app for rider , driver and web admin panel.

Developing a taxi booking app from scratch would take several months and would be too late to make the most of the opportunity.Also, business owners need to have a sizable investment to get a custom ride-hailing mobile app developed.

To launch a mobile app in quick time using a readymade taxi app solution is a perfect option as it saves your time and money. While choosing a readymade solution you must keep in check the user experience and features supported by the solution.

Here are some key features that online taxi app solution must offer :

  1. Fare Estimator
  2. Real-Time Tracking
  3. Cab Selection Type
  4. Confirm/Cancel a trip
  5. SOS
  6. Promotional Code
  7. Trip Navigation
  8. Booking History
  9. Ratings
  10. Multiple Payment Options
  11. Commission management
  12. Fare Management
  13. Geo Fencing

Conclusion

The ride hailing industry might have taken a hit due to pandemic but there are positive signs of return and offer good opportunity for startups if they consider different factors mentioned in the post

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