By this fall August, a fleet of 50 taxi vechiles could stir controversy in Calgary.
FastCab Calgary, which hopes to formally launch in August, currently has an app that allows customers to connect directly to drivers from various brokers and even use GPS to pinpoint the distance between both. Further, users can pay extra to have themselves prioritized by drivers.
Sounds great for consumers, but brokers in Calgary have been less than impressed. They have declared a violation of bylaws governing city taxi operation, claiming it poses a safety risk to drivers. In response, founder Jeff Doepker isn’t fighting back—instead, he’s launching his own physical fleet. This week, the City of Calgary confirmed that FastCab is now a licensed broker.
Doepker’s startup is apt to force competing Calgary cab companies to innovate on a technological level. “The whole premise behind FastCab Calgary is to make the connection between the customers and the drivers as seamless as possible, which is not currently the case with other taxi companies,” he told Metro Calgary.
FastCab’s fleet will be substantially smaller than most of its competitors, however. Checker Yellow Cabs dispatches more than 700 vehicles, while Associated Cab Calgary has more than 600.