Flywheel, a San Francisco-based company that provides fleets from Eastside For Hire, Apple4Hire, United for Hire and others with app-based technology, is rolling out a new feature in Seattle that allows passengers to schedule rides in advance.
Flywheel told GeekWire that there was “overwhelming demand from customers” for an advance reservation function, and particularly for rides to the airport. The ability to request future rides is something that UberX and Lyft do not offer.
In Seattle, Flywheel does not partner with taxis, but rather for-hire companies — those that charge a fixed fee for each ride and do not use meters. Its app allows these services to give users a way to track and pay for rides with a smartphone.
Flywheel debuted the scheduled ride feature a few weeks ago in San Francisco, where its app is used by 80 percent of cabs there.
“Having integrated the Flywheel app into our entire fleet of taxicabs has allowed our company to be at the leading edge of dispatching technology, bringing a new level of innovation to both our passengers and drivers,” Hansu Kim, co-owner of Bay Area-based DeSoto Cab, said in a statement.
It’s worth noting that Kim recently told the SF Weekly that he’s considering selling his taxi medallions and turning his company into a limousine sedan service due to rising competition from the likes of Uber, Lyft, and other similar transportation startups.