In the fight against the ride-sharing behemoths Uber and Lyft, a new name in the world of taxi apps and dispatch solutions has emerged. Built in the U.K and tested in the U.S, that name is Gazoop.
Gazoop is the brainchild of Jessica Almasri, a 38 year old, mum of 4 from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jessica said: "While I was running my own 8 man taxi fleet, I also worked for a call center from home which took calls for large retailer. I was sitting around one night answering taxi calls and I thought what if I could make these people that work for this at home call center answer my taxi calls because I was beyond tired of answering the calls, sending texts to drivers, calling out customers, billing and invoicing my contracts and everything else that comes along with running a cab company. I was also aware of a little app called uber that was coming to my city but didn't believe it would ever work. They weren't licensed, right? Little did I know. As my wheels were spinning, I phoned a friend in the U.K. and at that moment, Gazoop was born. A full service front to back end solution that will lighten the load for any taxi firm. Soon after I sold my taxis and started in on the project full time. I knew from the beginning, I was going to be the salesperson for this so I started researching problems with other apps, looking for the best ways to make everyone happy, owners, drivers and customers of the taxi companies. The majority of our system has been features though have come from feedback from our customers. When they speak and ask for things to be implemented we listen. My bigger thought in all this was connecting all cab companies across the world so we came up with a networking system that could literally link taxi and limo company across the world while keeping the taxi companies identity We came up with a universal app that does just that while giving the taxi companies farming capabilities to sell those trips off to each other allowing every single trip to be covered while still keeping their business, their business. There were many times that I couldn't cover a trip due to lack of drivers and I'd ending giving the trip away or worse not getting the trip at all. This is why the TNCs have stolen the industry. We needed a way to fight back! Gazoop is that solution."
Jessica added: "We operate world wide and are spread all over the United States. We probably operate in 42 of the lower 48 states in some form or another. I'd say that the majority of my business though is in the U.K. But we do not operate in London."
TaxiPoint got in touch with Gazoop to ask how it could work for the London and U.K. taxi markets.
How would Gazoop work for the individual taxi driver?
"We have people that have linked up to create their own collective. So individual drivers market one app. For instance here in the states I have an association of taxis that use it that way. We have not had a collective as big as the black cab drivers come on yet but we talked about it and if we had driver support in the upwards of the 1500+ numbers Gazoop would support this and actively market the app of course."
Will Private Hire operators be on the dispatch system and will data be shared?
"No. No one has access to your collectives data."
TaxiPoint thoughts on Gazoop
It's an interesting dispatch system that does differ from other off-the-shelf dispatch apps. It's up to the driver to form a group big enough to market itself. With very little admin costs and the use of a shared dispatch centre it means drivers can focus solely on its customers.
For individual drivers the technology might not be that useful in large cities like London, however if individual drivers were to join a group then coverage might not be an issue.