Today B+B got the chance to test out Cab With Me, a new app that’s launching Sunday in order to help Greenpointers cope with the G train shutdown. Its creators say it’ll help out your wallet when it comes to cabbing it. Instead of taking a taxi all by your lonesome, or just you and your drunk friend, you can pop open this app and see if anyone in the area is willing to share a ride with you.
When we first checked out the app, it occurred to us that Cab With Me could be like a utilitarian Tinder– half the cost of your ride home AND find a mate or awkward date at the same time.
Drunkenly we might be down for such a thing, but the idea of being stuck in a moving death carriage with a date-turned-awkward, while at the same time feeling like you’re once again a 12-year old on a chaperoned date in your mom’s Saturn, sounds less than appealing to a sober person.
So we set that potential aside and tested the app solely for its usefulness in making ride shares happen. Just to clear things up– the app doesn’t actually flag a cab for you, it just finds other users in the neighborhood who are trying to cab it to the same or nearby location. So once you and your new best friend meet up, you’ll either have to use Uber (which you can log on to via the Cab With Me app), get into one of those humiliating mustache mobiles if they ever get their shit together, or pool your cash together and hail a cab the old-fashioned way.
B+B’s Kirsten O’Regan and I logged on to Cab With Me. My terribly slow iPhone 4 picked up on the system right away, though Kirsten’s took a minute longer. You can log in using either Facebook or registering with the site, and once you’ve done that you can manage your profile which consists of a photo, your email, and phone number. The app says it never gives out your phone number to other users, however. So basically other users will only glimpse your pic and your first name. That’s sOoOo Tinder.
Once you’ve entered in your location and desired destination, you submit and wait. Cab With Me does warn you to plan ahead 15 minutes, and it certainly takes its time hooking you up with other users. The worst part is, you’re not sure if it’s working. Uber has spoiled us in that we can see little taxis swarming around us when we’re waiting for them. At least for now, with very few users, a similar feature doesn’t appear to work on this app. So you find your buddy, submit a request, and simply wait. Hope you’re not in a hurry, because you might be waiting for a long time.
About ten minutes passed before I received a notification that Kirsten has accepted my request. Now it would take another fifteen minutes to walk and meet her and once we met up we’d have to decide how to hail a cab, and how to split up the money.
But we gotta admit, it was pretty good about showing you exactly where the person is on the map. And the idea of saving dollars is always chill.
But one major problem we couldn’t get over is, if “speed and access are primary reasons to use cabs instead of the subway” (according to common sense and a 2006 market research survey) then you would REALLY want to have to save money to invest the time in this app and time would maybe not have to be a factor.
Kirsten and I decided that the only time we take cabs is in times of desperation, crappy weather, drunkenness, or extreme lateness. Only one of these situations would warrant the use of this app– drunkenness. So we’re back to the potential hookup factor for this app. Basically if you need a cab AND a Tinder-like date and are relatively confident that your ride share on the other end is in it for the same things, then we highly recommend you give Cab With Me a go.
If you’re down, Cab With Me is available at the app store now. Oh, and it’s totally free.