I’ve had the Hailo app on my iPhone for a while now, but it’s only in the last couple of weeks that I’ve started using it, and I’m already a covert!
Available for free on both iPhone and Android smartphones, Hailo will help you hail a taxi more quickly, more easily, and more safely.
When you launch the app, it automatically works out where you are, and also where all the nearest taxis are – and displays them all on a map. If you then decide to book a cab, it’ll send out a message to the nearest car, and let you know as soon as it’s booked – all within a few seconds – and will continue to track the taxi as it makes its way to you.
The service relies upon taxis signing up to the service, and it seems that more and more of the city’s drivers are using it. Over the last few weeks, I’ve talked to several drivers about their experiences of using Hailo. Without exception, they love it, as it gives them more work – and it’s also much cheaper for them than using a traditional radio booking system. Some drivers are using Hailo to supplement the jobs they get over the radio, but in one case a driver told me that he had cancelled his ties to a cab company (and the associated fixed cost of €150 a week – regardless of the amount of work it yielded) and was using Hailo exclusively.
For the passengers too the Hailo app had lots of advantages. As I said, the app can identify where you are – and it’s a simple matter to pinpoint the exact address by typing in the house number. You can also specify what size of taxi you want – with options for 1-4 passengers, 6 passengers, 7 passengers, 8 passengers, or a wheelchair accessible cab – and so, if you have a big party, you can filter your search for taxis that meet your requirements.
Another big advantage of Hailo is that you can pre-define one or more credit/debit cards, and select to pay by card as part of the booking. The removes the worry about having enough cash to pay for your journey. Most taxis will take payment by credit/debit card already, but it can seem like a bit of a faff to pay by card, as it takes a while to process. But not with Hailo. As soon as you arrive, the driver can take payment with a single press (and you can decide to tip your driver), and an email receipt is sent out straight away.
When you book the cab, you get told the details of the driver that’s coming to get you, including their name, badge number and car registration – which makes it a lot safer, as you know you’re getting into the right car. Hailo vets drivers themselves, so you also have that added sense of safety, so that if something does happen during your journey it’s possible to trace who your driver was.
And finally, if you accidentally leave something behind in the cab you can report the loss through the app.