Vancouver taxi companies who fought off Uber launch eCab app
New smartphone app comes one year after companies resisted Uber's plans to launch in Vancouver
Vancouver four main cab companies are going mobile on Wednesday with an app that allows smartphone users to hail a ride with their phones.
The eCab app is available for download already, but will officially start working in Vancouver on Wednesday with Black Top Checker Cabs, MacLures Cabs, Vancouver Taxi and Yellow Cab.
The app, which is being launched after the taxi industry fought off Uber's plans to launch in Vancouver last year, was a year in the making, according to Carolyn Bauer with Vancouver Taxi Association.
"What we needed to do was find an app that could integrate all four companies together as one dispatch," said Bauer.
The app, which is already used in 10 cities in Europe, will launch in other Canadian cities in the coming months, according to Bauer.
Much like Uber, the eCab app allows users to pre-book a cab, track it in real time, pay with their phone, and rate their driver. It is Apple and Android compatible.
Last November the four taxi companies launched a lawsuit to prevent Uber from launching its mobile car service in the city, but the lawsuit was dropped after Uber shelved its plans in the face of objections from city hall.
Uber's smart phone app allows non-regulated drivers to pick up fares in their own personal vehicles and already operates in more than 200 cities worldwide.