Building a Taxi Booking App like Uber, Gett, or Lyft

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There are many advantages of such apps that make them very convenient and essential tools in our modern pulse of life:

  • Quick and easy service comparing to an ordinary dispatcher call service;
  • Cheaper since all services go through a mobile app only without a dispatcher;
  • Geolocation feature determines your location instantly so that you don’t need to know your address precisely;
  • Cars tracking and detailed info about them and their drivers;
  • Cash-free service, payment gateway involved;
  • Choose the car and the driver with the best rankings and price.

In this article, we are going to find out all the peculiarities of how to start a business like Uber.

How to Make a Taxi Booking App

Any kind of an app development project involves these stages:

  • Market research and target audience analysis. On this stage, you search for the answer to “why should people use my app?” and deliver a solution with a unique feature to compete with other taxi booking apps on the market.
  • Features list. After defining feature essentials, we will be able to get a rough cost estimation.
  • UX/UI designing stage. This essential step ensures the interface of the app is not confusing and users will like using your app.
  • Development & Testing. For the improved quality of the process, these two activities should go hand in hand.
  • Launch & Marketing. The launch of the taxi booking app is not the end of a story. To become successful, one needs to do a lot of marketing, provide support and maintenance.

Taxi Booking App Success Stories

Everything starts with marketing research. In addition to researching the target audience, it would be useful to look through the success stories of different taxi booking app giants widely known today. Uber is considered to be the most widespread taxi app throughout the world. Nonetheless, there are several popular Uber clone apps. Here we will focus on the most interesting of them: Israeli Gett and American Lyft.

Uber

With Uber, every of its 40 million monthly active riders can book a car in over 450 cities all over the world for more than 8 years already. You reserve a car and define its location using your mobile phone. It is possible to pay both by credit/debit card and in cash. In most cases, 80% comes to the driver and 20% to the Uber application.

In June 2015 a new Uber mobile app for Android and iOS in Istanbul named UberBOAT was opened, which is going to transport people over Bosphorus by boats. In June 2016 it was declared that Uber is going to start transporting people using the helicopter in Brazil. It should provide ordering of this service on a daily basis in 9 regions of San Paulo which have helicopter grounds. To sum up, the Uber topic is inexhaustible, there is still room for new ideas, for example, Uber for private jets.

Gett

An on-demand mobility company originated from Israel. This service connects customers with drivers to provide them with quick transportation. You can make your order using the Gett website or mobile application available on iPhone and Android platforms. The service doesn’t take tips (they can be set by you from 0 to 20%) and has a bonus system. Drivers have their rate and you can choose the best one according to the previous customers’ feedback. Gett is available in all Israeli cities, 100 cities in the USA, UK, and Russia.

Lyft

In the United States, the most promising Uber rival is Lyft with 3 million monthly active riders. Its interface is mostly similar to the one of Uber. More than 60 cities across the world use this taxi booking app, as it eliminates the main problem of Uber – security. To become a driver in this system, one should provide a biography, a road transport department certificate, and confirm the previous convictions absence. This app enables you to find drivers who are ready to give you a ride for an extremely cheap price. Such service gives you a brilliant chance to save 30% of your travel expenses (if we compare with traditional taxi services). The cost is different in different cities and it also varies by the type of the car. The price is based on miles that were traveled. In some cities, the service can give you the estimated price in advance while in others it cannot. The taxi application Android and iOS versions are available.

The Features Essential for a Taxi Booking App

If you firmly decided to create a taxi booking app, it is necessary to answer these questions:

  • What is your unique functionality (or a unique way in which it is marketed)?
  • Why should people choose your app instead of competitors?
  • How to make them like the app?

It is also essential to think of its UX/UI design, as a taxi app should be understandable and have a minimal quantity of screens. There is one peculiarity of building a taxi app, which strongly influences its complexity and the development price. Here, two different apps with different backend and frontend parts should be built: the user’s app and the driver’s app. In addition, do not forget to make an admin service for your taxi booking app maintenance.

The common features for both app types include:

  • Live geolocation & mapping;
  • Distance & price calculation in real time;
  • Payment gateway integration;
  • Multilanguage interface.

However, most of the features are different. We outlined  the list of essential functionality:

Driver’s Features:

  • Instant notification about new orders;
  • Display of additional trip information (which includes special rider’s preferences);
  • Profile data storage (customizable/non-customizable data, balance, booking);
  • Fixing the time of waiting for a customer.

User’s Features:

  • Cars location and movement;
  • Detailed info about taxis and their drivers;
  • Display of reviews and rankings;
  • Booking history for quick trip repetition.

The administrator’s version is a place to store all the data from two applications. Admin dashboard saves a log file of all the processes taking place in the applications. Here you will generate reports and see the outcomes of your work. It is worth saying that in some countries this panel is a must have for a  taxi booking app, even if it is not necessary by its business logic: that is a strong requirement dictated by the government.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Taxi Booking App?

First of all, to get a cost approximation of your taxi booking app, it is necessary to make up a full list of prioritized features or user stories (which is even better and will save time later). Each feature or the user story is estimated in man-hours, which means you will be able to get a price by multiplying the total duration of work on a team’s hourly rate. What is also should be taken into an account:

  • It would be necessary to build 3 different apps with different backend and frontend: for the user, for the driver, and for an administration.
  • You might also be willing to develop for two platforms simultaneously and build a Uber app for drivers iPhone and Android.
  • Consider the time and effort needed to conduct the market research, develop a minimum viable product of your taxi booking app, etc.

How much did Uber cost to develop? It was roughly estimated that to make an Uber clone will take nearly 1500 hours, and its cost will be about $60-90,000.

Summary: How to Make a Taxi Booking App Like Uber As you see, the demand in taxi booking app industry is high enough, and it is possible to make innovation and become the next big player. There are certain difficulties here, and it is important to understand the needs of the target audience in order to provide users just with unique content and functions they need. But in general, everything depends on you, your ideas and perseverance in creating a taxi booking app.  
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