Saving the Future of the Taxi Cabs and ultimately the public Transit Industry

Posted on February 19, 2016 by itcurvesnet
Taxis as part of public transit with county set price and jurisdiction and number available restriction are worth saving!  The taxi industry serves the civil society pretty much since cars became a means of transportation. Serving any in need of a ride including the tired, cold, stranded, unscheduled rider! And it’s now time to save the less understood tired taxi industry out of its growing pain via  apps to rival the international ride enabling software companies that are “easy” such as  Uber.   The Uber type companies are unregulated by the society.

Reviving the taxi industry via automation benefits the consumer as well as the managers of the taxi cab companies, while keeping regulations in tact. The angel investor subsidized rides are akin to angel investor subsidized food delivering to ur door. While it feels good, if the food maker has not been certified food handler and delivery is open for any driver, the guarantee that the food is while is gone!

The app software and mobile technology are integrated to allow cab companies to be dispatchable,via an individual, any time, anywhere ( even international).

The nearest cab (from all taxi companies) will be visible, live, on the map, even if blocks away! The cab drivers’s approach is visible on the live map, and notification is sent when the taxi is near. The driver information can be stored and drivers can get ratings and preferential selection by gender or  familiarity.

These features will reestablish the taxi industry as a welcome, integrated part of the app using and safety conscious society.

The currently existing taxi cab companies can become a part of a network of taxi companies.   All taxi companies in the world can be available to riders, wherever the rider is.

The rider does not need to know the name of the local company in a particular area all the rider need is the “MARS APP”.  Using the MARS APP , the rider will find the nearest cab, regardless of the name or color of the cab!

Regulators and taxi cab company owners will benefit from knowing the public rider will remain in the domain of riders, rather than trusting a software company to link riders to rides!

Option for the consumer increases as banding of taxi companies will allow rider to use MARS APP  anywhere in the world.

The evaluation feature of the app will allow for accountability of the driver to shape up as a driver or get bad ratings.

The visibility of the rides on the map will give assurance to rider as to arrival of the cab.

The contact information masking between rider and driver will ensure safety of both individuals,  as apposed to ride sharing apps.

24/7 availability of taxi companies will allow for intervening in case of mishaps.

Ridership for taxi companies will be on the rise as the millennials grow and the new age kids born to smart phones start using taxis.

Rider does not have to take a leap of faith every time he/she gets in a car!

Our company allows Networking of Taxi Companies via an International Roaming software for regulated taxi companies.

Please visit our website:

www.Itcurves.net

leave us a demo request:

info@itcurves.net

call us: 301-208-2222

Please download our booking app at

http://reservation.mars.itcurves.us/?AppID=mars_web

Visit MARS APP:

http://www.marsbookingapp.net

On to the next blog!

Why do transportation companies need to have more automation and banding in order to enter the 21st century Applicational Revolution!

Regional Transportation Management Digitalized data availability on daily trips taken

Every day millions of people take to streets, making a point to point journey.    Stepping away from the topic of agency/eqity for this make-aware “scenario building” episode, and focusing on how trio digitaluzations are going to help build of the future of transportation.  
As the reader is reading this on a digital device, this discussion is not that unfair. 

Ride digitalization gives rider and transportation planner optimized routing planning, based on regional settings and time/environmental concerns.  
The travel modes are plenty based on how urban is the resident of the rider.  
Choice of travel could be based on    Dollar cost   time and therefore leisure factors   Level of comfort need   environmental concerns
Some factors may be more of a choice determinant such as cost.  The need for timely management to a medical appointment while having comfort and privacy Concetns could drive the need for a limiting mode of travel.  
Rider typically stays with a commute that is planned once and executed the same routine way to maximize time-and- again trip planning to work/chore daily.
A tool that can decide the best mode of travel based on the rider’s travel concerns, can serve the rider.  For example, a rider that has a daily commute to work might want to save time on the morning commute but have environmental concerns for the afternoon commute. 

Recent tools for trip planning, can quickly disclose the types of vehicle, distance, and cost options. The rider can decide travel based on cost, Level of service (pre see an area of service, chauffered flexible direction, self-directed)
For an urban area that has universities, commercial areas, business hobs, and entertainment and tourist/ airport locations, city planning can benefit the rider by removing random city traffic and planning a more relevant catered road availability for the rider.
As an example, to reduce energy use and road traffic, intercity travel can be manageable by shared shuttle/bus
Student travel by shred school van, volunteer student driver, scooter
Housing areas
to business districts for rush hours Routine shuttles directly to business areas, or to local public transit
to shopping district for non rush hours Routine shuttles Directly to shopping areas, or To local public transit
to medical centers Demand response shuttle, vehicle Point to point (time/privacy concerns)
Tourist areas
Similar planning options can be preplanned for types of guests arriving at the airport for the ground transportation to the hotel area, and for the short time stay travel needs to business or entertainment/dining/ activity/sightseeing.
The more data from foot and vehicle traffic That is available to the regional DOTs the more optimized the number and type of vehicle to demand planning can be provided to planners and therefore to riders.
This digitalization data availability is not involved in the equity and agency discussion, because, although currently some travel options and planning may not be available to all, the digital data can make way for a more equitable city planning that gives transit agencies equitable options to all travelers, while keeping the roads uncluttered

Bigger network of providers for the rider convenience, but not a thousands of circling drivers clogging traffic

Transportation providing companies do not share customer base. Regency has managed to network with Barwood Brand, and ACTION Cab of Monthomery County. Riders can use MARS app or MARS web reservation to reserve the closest ride, and broker for non emergency medical transport ( NEMT) to bring the gift of mobility to people with disability. That is a big investment for delivering to Transits needs for NEMT, para-transit service.

Regency Taxi works tirelessly to provide operation for any customer 

in Montgomery County, and designed a functional proposal to perform for local transits.

Regency won against Uber in networking taxi cab companies

giving the rider the ease of use of gettin nearest cab 

regardless of brand.  

HOW MANY CAB COMPANIES DO THAT?  Regency’s management recognized the shift towards TNC s in 2009 and started a sister company to produce compatible software to network taxi companies.  The sister company 

IT Curves, designed with Transit agancies need of audit in mind. Serving transits for fifteen years, IT Curves designed a chain management system for ride booking, where from the incoming call or web, or app request for a ride, the information is contained seamlessly all the way to job dispatched/ accepted by Driver and bill generated and invoiced

We educated our policy makers and

regional transportation providers that there is a chance to 

Network regulated cabs so the consumer has a choice. 

Cab prices remain fixed by local jurisdictions and cab companies 

pay $1000 fees for picking up passengers out of a zone.

the option of closest cab regardless of the brand of cab. 

Bethesda Magazine always featured Barwood

http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda-Beat/2017/Barwood-Finds-Tentative-Buyer-for-Taxi-Assets-in-Bankruptcy-Case/

This work of creating the gift of mobility could be headlined as

Three local cab companies form strategic partnership 

In the coming weeks, 

160 Regency Taxi vehicles and another 225 Barwood vehicles will seemingly disappear from Montgomery County’s streets.

The companies, however, are carrying on – despite the unfair competition that Uber and Lyft bring. MARS app is used nationally with over 3000 vehicles.

“Once competitors engaged in a healthy rivalry, Regency, Barwood, and Action, and IT Curves’ leadership had a kumbaya moment and aligned to bring a regulated network of riders”

For the past 9 years IT Curves a Maryland based Software company, helps dispatch rides to 3000 cabs daily with local white labeled brands. Part of the MoCo cabs that also includes a revamped smartphone app, upgraded technology in cars.

“When you have an unlimited fleet like Uber or Lyft, which could have 40,000 cars at any given time in a city, how do you compete?,” Regency enthusiast Sherri Mohebbi asked during an exclusive interview earlier this month. “And the way you compete is by optimizing the number of vehicles needed at a location.”

“No medallions changed hands, though regardless of owner, all 700 cabs will now be accessible through MARS app – a crucial update that realigns local taxis’ customer-facing tech with Uber and Lyft – and by dialing any of the numbers previously associated with the three companies”

The merger of sorts came together over the past six months. Mr. Mohebbi who owns ITCurves, sorted out details during Saturday morning bagel coffee. 

We had to learn to trust one another and understand that we all have common goals and know that working together is the best way forward.

“The abilities of all of us together, far surpassed the ability of any one of us, Sherri said.

As the owner of the smaller number of cars, he incurred the approximately $400,000 cost, or $1,000 each, to repaint and repair his fleet to MARS vehicles.

Aside from the cosmetic changes, customers may have already started to notice some of other changes. Taxis offering an experience more in line with ridesharing companies, referred to as transportation network companies, or TNCs, in legislation.

Tablets have replaced the traditional meter and payment systems, allowing cab operators to eliminate time spent on equipment training. The tech also lets passengers charge their phones while en route, and monitor total cost in real time – a change from the old meters, which only showed the full fare once at the destination.

IT Curves came up with cash payment before the TNC apps, and also integrates the subsidized cards as payment, and calculates fares for ADA rides from transits. Fairs can also be split and pooled rides, and a user-friendly app that creates a token from credit card payment information and does not store credit card information. MARS has a real-time map of nearby available cabs. For passengers already in a MARS car, they can use the Pair & Pay function to sync with the app.

“Now that our app is above par with those of TNCs, we can provide a similar service with fares that are comparable to other companies,” Company management said, alluding to one thing the cab companies won’t do, for now, to match its ridesharing competitors – surge pricing.

A taxi is a consistent rate,” management said. The driver’s time, fuel, car maintenance, 24/7 call Center customer service can’t be duplicated.”

And according to the newly partnered firms, that’s OK. Mohebbi, and management say they are aiming to draw back customers with consistency and safety.

“Our drivers are full time dedicated drivers that care about passengers. They are not a high turnover temps with a driving license. The drivers are screen for math, map capacity, and FBI background checked and don’t traffic around. Maryland may allow vaccination for drivers under 1B or second group.

As cab companies are under regulation by the county, the cab fares are fixed by the county and individual cab companies cannot lawfully charge the fare rate. The same way the Transits cannot offer daily/hourly change rate for the Metro area.

The joint venture, in particular integrating onto a single app, clearly “delivers more value to the customer” since it will reduce waiting times and eliminate the need for multiple apps, Mohebbi said.

A marketing strategy worth trying, he suggested, is placing a greater emphasis on MARS MOCO as a local brand. “We are your neighbors, we are here in Montgomery County,” he said. “Our company cares about people Montgomery County. “

The MoCo partners are still sorting out potential marketing campaigns as the focus has been on the rebrand and tech upgrades. Once that’s complete, MARS will up the intensity on another, admittedly, low-tech method to rival the Silicon Valley players.

“We are pushing for taxi stands to conjoin with major transportation depots,” Mohebbi said.

On the driver side, the new tech shows the queue of requested rides and analyzes a comparable day’s business so they can make an educated decision on where to position their car.

But additional taxi stands would take this a step further, Mohebbi said.

“We have to efficiently deploy our fleet and that it is knowing where we can be the most effective for the population,” he reasoned.

Working with the Transportation Dept., the taxi companies surveyed neighborhood associations and businesses across Montgomery County to find where gaps in transportation exist, he said.

Places like the Malls in Bethesda, lake forest Mall, and SilverSpring, were a few of the locations where survey participants said a taxi stand is needed to meet demand.

Another possibility is offering flat rate zones, Mohebbi said for the commerce area zones. 

Montgomery county cab companies dispatched based on zones. 

That’s what we are going to consider more of to keep ridership up then figuring out when it is the busiest time including for holiday events and tourism and major conventions not charging people eight times the normal rate to go somewhere,” he said, one of his few jabs at TNCs.

He and management have battled with regulators since Ubers first arrived in Montgomery County to even the playing field. Following recent rule changes, it is easier to focus on his own business, but he said reining in the TNCs would still be a good thing for the county overall.

Saying he does not want to cast himself as “the protagonist to fight them,” Mohebbi said, “I don’t think it is good for anybody that it takes 40 minutes to cross town because there are thousands of vehicles for hire roaming the streets on a Friday night, or a guy with a VA plate, who has no clue that once taking Viers Mill Rd, you have to U Turn back onto Rockville pike.

Sherri Mohebbi

Regency, Barwood, Action, IT Curves

A Call for Legislature on the Paper Reduction Act

Creating legislature about not being wasteful, may not be a bad thing.

The ride source as distributer/broker needs confirmation that the rider has actually taken a ride, such as a receipt for a purchase transaction. To track whether a ride actually took place or not, a piece of paper will be returned to the broker, by the driver with a signature of the rider. Typically, medical facilities can provide subsidized rides. The ride providing facility as ride source, will print a piece of paper promising to reimburse a ride. This receipt tracking starts with ride broker passes on the paper to the rider. The rider gets in the cab and passes the paper to driver. The driver upon completion of the ride gets the rider’s signature (that constitutes a receipt). Driver brings the paper to cashier at the transportation company that the driver works with. The cashier will pay the driver for the ride in lieu of the piece of paper and the ride performed. The transportation company then bills the broker for the rides performed for the broker.

The transportation note is entered into the digitalized data base that converts the promised note on to a ledger for billing the ride distribution entity on a monthly basis. The paper is then passed on to the audit department for verification, and kept at self-storage for oversight availability. Then there are external audit companies that will audit the paper trail to make sure the rides were taken.
If there are problems with the paper being presented, that paper will be sent back to cashier and issue tracking process starts. Occasionally the driver will have to be contacted and his account will be billed for a job that the ride source did not approve of. The rides that are not confirmed may have taken extra miles to perform, were round trip vs one way.

While paper reduction act could be exerted here, to reduce paper work, there is also, mission accomplishment time, and team, brain resource time reduction act, should be legislated to prevent extra time and resources when possible.

An electronic method of follow through automation is designed by IT Curves intelligent software. A desktop publishing platform that integrates ride providers can be used for entering the ride request at the ride source, with excel uploads or on demand, including asking the individuals to schedule the ride with a particular account. Drivers will be notified of dispatch, the rider, and management will get notified of the pickup proximity and actual pickup. Rider and management have access to the live route driver is taking. At the end of the trip, trip price can be adjusted to the most common price for the ride, or allow explanation of the price variance due to the traffic or weather issues. The rider can sign the signature pad or swipe ID for authentication.

IT Curves took initiative to have a signature capture method for the driver. This can be used for electronic feedback to the oversight entity assuring the rider took the ride. This technology is integrated into the mobile management software of the driver, and back seat payment processor with in the cab.

The management and the rider and driver will have accurate record of transactions in an instant, since the ledgering for a rider and the ride process is noted electronically. The record for the ride is ladgered in seconds intervals, and stored in a single record. Any changes to the record will be engraved in the record with the date and time of the change along with the desktop publisher account holder that made the change to the record. This method of record keeping will allow for the ride provider to have oversight and audit/QC features.
The paper reduction act is wonderful and when should be enacted when possible.
What is actually wasteful that is not legislated as heavily as paper, is the time that multiple employees spend going through this process. That is to have people publish and ship the paper, people to store and dispense the paper, people to carry the paper around. People to process the paper (finally in an electronic billing cashiering module), and office hours used for paper management and storage, retrieval and reconciliation.

Getting in front of the time of the people that do paper processing should have legislature. Allocating the time on paper processing to a better end would result in life enrichment.
Getting in front of scrapping/redoing the software that accomplishes the automation is perhaps the most needed of legislature. That is, time of the software engineering (cooperative effort of think, design, test, put in production) that typically involves 15 or more software engineers, marketing /sales reps, besides the office rent and equipment necessary to produce automation, is not conducive to wastefulness. Please be kind- don’t scrap the hard work of software engineers, it’s an intrinsic law!

Designing with compassion

About 40 years ago, when I use to spend all my days in the Chemistry laboratory and taking philosophy courses trying to find rhyme and reasons about life, at the sundown I’d head back home to my apartment. The bus was my method of commuting and I’d walk about 9 mnts to the bus stop on Massachusetts Ave. The service was erratic and the wait was tolerable except when bad weathers in winter would bring a ton of snow and freezing temperatures. Add that my young stuburnheadedness about not wearing for the weather and that left me knee deep in snow with no booths or warm jacket. On such occasion the bus would run late or skip service all together. Needless to say waiting for over an hour in these circumstances really gets your concept of life a good shake. Dependency becomes apparent, and music like Barbara Streisand, people who need people chimes in. Years later with a Masters Degree in physical Chemistry, and years of experience in data base and computer system applications and office administration and children that are independent, I understand the strength of a product that can communicate the time of arrival of a mobile vehicle to a mobile device.
The problem for the rider is still not resolved though as the mobile device has a high monthly cost, and the typical bus commuter may not be apt to have s $70 a month mobile phone plan.
A simple bus stop modification that would communicate the minutes to the next bus would ease the rider’s mind. This solar digital display would allow rider to decide to stay in a sheltered area if the bus will not becoming soon perhaps.
Even though this design may not land us on the moon, but think of how many happy commuters we could have.

Natural Partners


Cabby businessman are to be available on demand and not by schedule, humble and provider to any rider when and where required. From experience of riding cabs to being around a lot of cab drivers, most drivers are service oriented and giving. 

This character lends well to providing service to those that have a need for attention and care. 

Requiring Paratransit ride providers to be certified and networked will provide ease of mobility for paratransit rider, plus job security for the frailed professional driver. Drivers that are now awakened to the prevalence of angel investor ride providers are not knowledgeable in defending their rights like education providers, doctors, or senators. Similar to people with disability these group of people need help to retain income and not be deflated by some conglomerate, undercutting prices. Government entities typically set the price of taxi rides similar to bus and metro prices and that price is not negotiable.

While the TNCs subsidize rides by angel investors that provide the gift of mobility to the millennials; and that could be a boost to the economy, the professional driver, and public transit is taking the pressure. So much random traffic is created on the road because why not take a $5 ride to ur destination than walk to bus station wait for an unknown amount of time for a bus and walk to ur destination in cold weather or rain. 

If a conglomerate E-education company was to take over the teacher’s job, there would be a lot of talk about adjusting the educators. 

Additionally, the administrators that manage taxi, public transit companies are also at risk of losing the foundation and years of investing in the business. These jobs are changing from rigorous attention requiring, to more data analysis jobs, and sophisticated management software, that needs monitory resource more than basic human resource. 

While the professional chauffeurs apply natural caring behavior, similar to nurses and teachers, this group of citizens are daily astound by lack of attention from riders and law makers. Representatives that can be acknowledging the shift should proactively set guidelines that prevents undue hardship to the caring grassroots worker.

The meeting on Thursday felt a step in the direction of stitching the fabric that connects members despite job ranking. Holistically designing and implementing for the society is what great thinkers manage to design better than any individual would be able to do. 

Transit Group Incorporated designs with the society in mind.  Please have this small company be available at the table where there are grants or funding available to nourish our work, and when there are projects that could benefit from our design and consultancy.

Invest in thinking, it always pays

As a way of Smart City Planning initiative, Transit Group Incorporated(TGI) designs sustainable solutions for transportation. Recently TGI group of companies was awarded a public private cooperative, based on the value thinking designs of TGI. As consulting technology partners, we recognized the ability of taxis, as a network, to provide on demand private rides to the ADA compliant rider. This restructuring creates mobility for the ADA rider, full day’s work for the taxi drivers, and reduces accessible rides cost for the METRO. Additionally since the thousands of dedicated taxi chauffeurs gladly have less of a hustle and more of a dedicated route, road traffic is more controlled, and reduces stress for the dedicated chauffeurs. The ADA rider appreciates having the option of a private ride, without prescheduling need. TGI creates an extra level of desirability of this product model, by making invoicing integrated in the ride scheduling software giving Public Agencies ease of audit. That is TGI provides its partner with live data and visualization for the rides booked and in route via a web based application.

The reservation ticketing management chain is seamless and certain for invoicing reconciliation. Taxi cab company’s booking and invoicing cost is reduced and transparent as well.

The public private collaborative is truly a top down solution with the ADA rider in mind even though the benefit also comes to

Transit retaining money for other projects

The private companies have jobs

The regular rider has option of closest cab

The on demand chauffeur has income

The transparency of traffic

The auditing ease

And of course creating a better world for the ADA rider is its own reward.

Video of product

https://youtu.be/G3qDl7wLVpI

Sherri Mohebbi

Director of Outreach

Transit Group Incorporated

Please visit the IT Curves Software

http://www.ITCurves.net

Try our Transit linked booking app available to all riders including the ADA rider available in over twenty cities

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/armon-usa/id1277080656?mt=8 a

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