Ingogo, a mobile app that lets you hail cabs and monitor their location via GPS, has proved popular among Sydneysiders, according to a story published today on SMH. It's also been painted as potentially illegal, circumventing traditional booking methods via websites and phone and, as expected, has become a source of consternation for the industry's peak body, the NSW Taxi Council.
"In the eight weeks since it launched, Ingogo has signed up almost 1000 taxi drivers in Sydney and its app has been downloaded by 34,000 passengers," writes the Sydney Morning Herald. Details on the Ingogo website state that drivers are "fully authorised and licensed" and require a special device to track requests from the app.
Despite the extra business the app could be bringing, Taxis Combined isn't happy. "Might be illegal" are the words the organisation used in a driver newsletter. NSW's transport department was more neutral, telling SMH that Ingogo and similar systems are "subject" to review.
Regardless, the Taxi Council could be looking to "shut down" the service, according to Ingogo co-founder Hamish Petrie.
Browsing Ingogo's list of features, it doesn't exactly advertise itself as an "auction-style booking system", as it's described in the SMH piece. What it does allow you to do is circumvent the usual phone / website booking paths, which means a driver could ditch a booking made via the standard channels in favour of a more lucrative one provided by Ingogo.
The SMH article states it's an iPhone app, however, a quick check on the Android Market revealed Ingogo is available for handsets running Google's mobile OS. I downloaded the iOS version but, unfortunately, the service is only available in Sydney, so no luck for this Melbournite. A message in the app states that Ingogo is "working hard" to bring it to all capital cities.
Have you been using Ingogo to hail cabs? Let us know how you've found it.
Image: Ingogo / Android Market.