SMS for a shared taxi


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GB United Kingdom
Web http://www.texxi.com/


About the project Edit

Texxi is a company that aims to facilitate taxi sharing by acting as a "broker" between taxis and passengers in a number of different settings (e.g. "evening economy", commute, school run, etc). Its founder, Eric Masaba, calls this concept 'Demand Responsive Transit Exchange'. Very simply by sharing taxis, the taxi driver earns more and passengers pay less. Texxi, which stands for Transit Exchange for the XXst century, is a new system, operating in Liverpool and elsewhere, that basically gives a new twist to car-sharing. What is does is combine three new technologies: text messaging; advanced journey algorithms and real-time data. Texxi, which uses text messaging to match riders travelling to and from nearby locations so they can share cabs. is the brainchild of Eric Masaba." We now have the technology to make taxi sharing fair, quick, safe and economical," says Masaba, CEO of London-based Texxi Ltd.

This is how it works for passengers. Passengers text a taxi request stating their destination postcode and are matched with others wanting a similar ride at a similar time. Passengers can register with Texxi and form 'social networks' for taxi sharing. Texxi texts a confirmation and pick up point, which the potential passenger then confirms by text. Masaba says Texxi is linking up with social networking sites so users can customize rider groups, choosing who they do and don't want to Texxi with. Riders can also request a driver, child seats and even the type of car.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

If Texxi has found an innovative way to implement a shared taxi scheme, taxi sharing goes on almost everywhere around the world. In developing countries, the thought of paying 10 times the price of public transit just to travel on one's own is laughable. But unlike the Texxi system, "colectivos" used throughout South America, "share taxis" and "jitneys" used elsewhere, usually have fixed pickup and drop-off points and travel on set routes, effectively operating as shuttle buses that often carry more than a dozen riders at a time. The novelty of Texxi is the harnessing of a recent technology (SMS) to facilitate the organisation of taxi-sharing, but this can only succeed if there is an understanding of the extent to which text messaging is socially embedded within the target social groups.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

In the prototype demonstration in Liverpool, each passenger will pre-pay a flat fee of £5. Benefits of this approach include:
· Lower passenger fares for point-to-point travel.
· Increased revenue for the taxi driver for essentially the same work.
· Reduction of potential CO2 emissions and fuel consumption as the total number of trips are reduced.

Applied more broadly as a solution to reduce urban congestion and single-passenger trips at times of peak demand, however, Texxi could begin to make a measurable impact.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The system was successfully tested in Liverpool in 2006, using 60 licensed taxis, and is set to launch in four cities in the south of England. People in a dozen other cities around the world, including Toronto, have inquired about setting up Texxi.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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