Meet the company uniting taxis city-wide with passenger app technology
Gord Beatty is general manager of 24-7 Taxi Line in Edmonton and is also a leader for in an important cause: the safety of transportation passengers in his community.
So when ridesharing company Uber rolled into town with no adherence to regulations, including proper insurance for transportation purposes, Beatty promptly addressed the challenge, rallying his competitors to get involved.
“We’ve been working with all of the taxi companies in Edmonton and encouraging them to become a part of a city-wide app that would allow customers to choose the closest car, no matter what company it is affiliated with, and also to choose a car they would prefer if they wanted to do so.”
Partnering with Taxi Commander to deliver the app, Beatty is driven also to provide the regulated, legal ground transportation industry a similar playing field in terms of technology in comparison to Uber, which lets passengers book rides without having to call or flag down a cab on the street, and provides the option for in-app payment.
An overwhelming majority of the companies Beatty has approached have embraced the idea.
“We’re trying to be creative,” he says.
Innovative since the beginning
Beatty has over thirty years’ experience in the transportation industry and has been with 24-7 Taxi Line since its inception in 2009. From driver to multi-plate-owner, dispatcher and trainer, Beatty is deeply knowledgeable and is a well known icon in his line of work.
24-7 Taxi Line hit the ground running with GPS tracking along with computerized dispatch. Those weren’t unique to them in 2009, but they were the first in town to take debit card payments. 24-7 Taxi Line also spearheaded the way in technology with a cellular based dispatch system from Taxi Commander parent Future Quest Wireless Inc.
In harnessing the enormous advantage of enterprise dispatch technology, 24-7 Taxi Line was best equipped to uphold its core motivation: to provide the customer with great service in a timely fashion. Over the years, 24-7 Taxi Line has nurtured a strong specialization in corporate clientele, including accounts with CN Rail, CP Rail and Kal Tire.
With billing and driver cashiering within their centralized dispatch system, 24-7 Taxi Line is full-service, and fully dependable.
“These types of clients require on-time performance,” says Beatty. “We’ve committed to them that we’ll be on time and will send someone who knows where they’re going, no matter how obscure that might be.”
While explaining this, Beatty emphasizes that their service also extends to clients who flag or book a 24-7 taxi individually; it’s about professionalism for all customers.
Listening to the needs of the industry
Edmonton locals know the sleek red and black late model vehicles of 24-7 Taxi Line when then see them; the branding is iconic. As a company at the forefront of the challenges Uber presents in the community, 24-7 Taxi Line has the background and ingenuity to see it through with success.
“We believe that having the majority of the taxi companies in Edmonton on board with a single app will give the industry a leg up,” says Beatty.
“There are thirteen or fourteen hundred taxis in Edmonton so we’ve got a competitive edge from a fleet sized perspective at this point,” he adds.
“Are there other pieces required? Certainly. But we believe that a single source with the conveniences of an app and the opportunity to take the closest vehicle is what people really want.”