Team members:

James Burgess
David Laing
James McCann
Kate Henderson
Jason Paul
Dean Gowans

We used a Google doc during the weekend - find it here. The info has been updated to this page after the event.
The preso we used for the Dragons Den session is here.

Taxipool is an app for sharing taxis from Wellington airport to locations in the CBD. The app matches travellers arriving at the airport at similar times and with similar local destinations.


On this page:
  • the problem it solves for society
  • what’s in it for the traveller
  • how it works
  • how the payment gets sorted out
  • critical success factors
  • a quick analysis of the market
  • a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT)

On another page:
Taxipool pictures from the brainstorming session


What’s the problem it solves for society?

Taxis form a large proportion of the traffic from the airport to the CBD. Many of these carry only one or two passengers - particularly at peak times. This wastes resources and contributes to congestion.

By making it quick and easy to share taxis, we can reach the passengers who are less likely to switch to public transport. The peak morning arrivals at the airport coincide with the peak congestion, so a small reduction in taxis at this time can make a big difference to local congestion.

What’s in it for the traveller?

The individual traveller saves money on each taxi trip. The business traveller saves their company money and the company gets a ‘corporate social responsibility’ benefit. Everyone, including the traveller, gets a quicker journey.

How does it work?

Each participating traveller arrives at the airport and tells the app the address they want to get to.

The app sends this info to the back end, which matches their destination with other similar journeys.

Each person’s app tells them to meet at a specific meeting point next to the taxi rank. The app shows them the name and profile picture of the people they will be sharing with.

Payment:

Traditional payment: one passenger pays at the end of the journey as normal; the other passengers’ apps contribute their share to that person.
Integrated payment: passengers store their credit card info in the app for frictionless payment of their share of the fare.
(same as user experience in Uber; this needs taxi co involvement)

Critical success factors:

Business travellers don’t want hassle or delay. So musn’t take much time or effort.

Cost savings might attract some users - trips cost only 1/2, 1/3, or even 1/4 of the full fare.

Some business travellers may not be cost-sensitive - but sharing taxis could contribute to their organisation’s savings or corporate social responsibility targets. The system could easily generate reports at year-end.

Analysis

Numbers for analysis

The application would disrupt a number of organisations' business model. The first group are taxi companies. The app would reduce the total number of trips from the airport, and reduce the overall revenue as multiple trips are shared. If 10% of trips from the airport were taxi-pooled, this would could reduce income from those trips by (say) 60%.

The second organisation is the airport, which currently earns a premium from each taxi departure.

The third is the City Council, which has a commercial interest in the airport. This creates a problematic tension. The tension is between their economic interest in the airport (taxi revenue), and congestion on roads (taxi trips).

It is in everyone's interest to reduce the volume of traffic on the road (economic well-being, congestion, pollution, carbon emissions). This app can help reduce traffic volumes, with the initial focus being on one particular route (airport to city).

To be successful, the app would need the support of the City Council, Wellington Airport, and probably at least one taxi company.

While the majority of taxis will use State Highway 1 as their primary route into town (responsibility = NZTA), once they leave SH1, they enter the Council's roading network.

SWOT

Strengths:
  • Low friction
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to setup

Weaknesses:
  • Could be "gamed"

Opportunities:
  • Extend to private vehicles
  • Extend to multiple destinations (and fare sharing)

Threats:
  • Uber
  • Easily replicated

Alternative names:

Taxi Tinder
Share my ride