My Initial Thoughts on the “Zab Kab” App.

A few days ago, the smartphone app “Zab Kab” was lauched for the iPhone and Android. The premise behind it is to make it easier for not only passengers, but for cab drivers to find fares. This sounds like a brilliant idea on the surface and it will work in certain instances…but I’m very skeptical about it in general.

The app will be free for the general public, but will cost either $9.95 or $14.95 per month for drivers (once the trial period ends). That in itself is suspect to me because I don’t know if drivers will want to spend that much on an app that MIGHT help them find a couple of more fares per month. For cabbies who work the morning shift, they’ll generally work in Manhattan from 4-9a and then strictly do JFK or LGA trips the rest of the time because that’s where the best money is. I have a tough time believing that this app will improve a driver’s shift if the passengers who’d also use the app are also at work. Also, this application doesn’t work if you’re driving at more than 10mph (which I suppose is a good thing because you don’t wanna be actively looking at your phone whilst driving ha). It’ll only detect a passenger if you’re stopped at a red light for instance. That’s cool and all too, but what happens if there’s a passenger 3 blocks away and then you get there, only to see that they’re gone? For a cabbie, this app will likely work best if you’re in Brooklyn or Queens…but a more seasoned cabbie/a cabbie more comfortable working in those areas & knows where the hot spots are won’t even have a need for it. I know for the most part what streets to go to in BK if I happen to drop off someone there & are looking for fares back.

As far as for passengers, this app will be more beneficial for them than drivers. For instance, instead of having to go on one of the major avenues to look for a cab, you may just be able to find a passing cab going across town and hail it right then and there. Plus, knowing where vacant cabs are when you’re out of Manhattan will be to their advantage. HOWEVER, what good will this app do if for example a cab is supposedly vacant, then it approaches you only to flip its off-duty lights on? This happens often especially in BK with cabbies who hate working outside of Manhattan and/or late at night. Not to mention if you’re hanging out on the Lower East Side or Meatpacking District for instance, you’ll naturally have a harder time finding a vacant cab on weekends, app or no app.

Overall, this app will be most beneficial for cabbies who work day shifts and for passengers who are either outside of Manhattan or are looking for cabs during rush hour. However, because so much of this is predicated on whether either party has the app on their respective phones, this whole schlep will be inconsistent. I don’t know if cabbies will be able to declare when they’re off-duty, occupied or vacant all the time…nor will this help matters much if you find someone on your GPS, only for them to disappear. I have the app downloaded onto my phone and I played around with it last night whilst in Park Slope. Found absolutely nothing. Maybe as the app becomes more popular, it will have some success…but there’s too many variables whilst on a shift for this app to be worth spending money on as a driver. If I were downloading this app as a passenger though, it wouldn’t hurt.

And so on.


2 Responses to “My Initial Thoughts on the “Zab Kab” App.”

  1. August 22, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Thanks for your thoughtful post. We at ZabKab are offering cabbies a free two-month trial, so there’s no downside to trying it out. After that, you can easily cover the cost of $9.95 or $14.95 a month by getting a couple of extra fares. As you said, it will be a boon to yellow cabs looking for fares in the boroughs. We hope you’ll download it and see first-hand how it works.

  2. 2 Yury
    August 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    I had this app running for the most part of my shift on Monday, aug 20, and I did not see a SiNGLE fare anywhere. Also, just for kicks, I downloaded the passenger app, and so far have not seen any taxis in manhattan or anywhere, grey or yellow. Is this app dead on arrival?

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