A new taxi-booking app has launched which enables travellers to compare prices from lots of different providers including minicab firms and licensed black cabs although it excludes Uber.
Karhoo represents around 30,000 licensed cars and has signed up some of London’s largest operators including Addison Lee. It will start in London with plans to expand.
Karhoo operates an open platform that allows a cab firm to connect their own systems to the app. Comcab – provider of London’s black cabs has already plugged into the service.
The app determines the location of the user and shows the number of vehicles available close to them. Journeys can be sorted by price, time of arrival or vehicle type.
Because its system enables real-time data sharing, Karhoo can also tell supporting cab companies where demand is, allowing them to direct their fleet to wherever is busiest.
Travellers also have the ability to pre-book a taxi through Karhoo.
Payment is made from the customer’s debit or credit card and 90 per cent of the fare is passed to the minicab operator.
It differs from Uber as it allows passengers to book a ride at a fixed price set in advance, with no “surge” fares during periods of high demand. Passengers booking through the app will be quoted a price by all the companies in the area signed up.
Karhoo founder Daniel Ishag said: “Karhoo is a game-changer, giving the Booking.com generation the smartest way to choose and book a cab ride. We are giving hundreds of thousands of Davids the power and platform to take on Goliath.”
Uber spokesperson told The Evening Standard: “Competition is a good thing for both consumers and drivers. Millions of people in 20 UK towns and cities love using Uber because they can get a convenient, safe and affordable ride – with a fully licensed private hire driver – at the push of a button. In London we have a range of choices including our new car-sharing option uberPOOL where a trip from Soho to Heathrow can cost as little as £24.”