Chicago residents and visitors can now download either smartphone app to begin hailing taxi rides
The Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) announced a marketing campaign to educate the public about Arro and Curb, Chicago’s official taxi app providers. Chicago residents and visitors can now download either app on the Apple App Store or Google Play on their smartphones to begin hailing taxi rides.
“These apps give Chicago’s consumers even more choices in their means of transportation,” BACP Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek said. “These apps also put the taxicab industry in a position to reach passengers who want to hail a ride through their smartphone. We look forward to working together to promote this important program.”
The two official taxi apps, Arro and Curb, were selected through a competitive bidding process launched in May 2015. The selected companies demonstrated their ability to provide an app that will include key features such as a secure payment option, estimated wait time, and fare quote estimate. The city’s entire fleet of taxicabs is required to use either the Arro or Curb app while on duty.
“Curb users have the security of knowing they’ll be picked up by a professional taxi driver who is screened and licensed by the city of Chicago and will get them safely and efficiently to their destination,” Sanders Partee, Head of Mobile Programs, Verifone Taxi Systems said. “With Curb, there is no surge pricing so riders will know what to expect. Chicagoans can also use Curb in more than 60 cities around the country.”
“Arro is a mobile app startup dedicated to helping transform the taxi industry and we are excited to be chosen as a preferred vendor bringing e-hail technology to drivers and passengers in Chicago,” Mike Epley, Arro’s founder and Director of Product Management said. “Launched in New York City last fall, the technology has been praised by tech reviewers and passengers alike. The Arro app provides passengers with the service and consistent pricing they desire, as well as confidence that the vehicles and drivers with which they are traveling are fully licensed and regulated by local authorities.”
The marketing campaign throughout the city will be seen throughout the neighborhoods on the city’s digital billboards, on BACP’s social media accounts and in monthly business and consumer newsletters.
The marketing campaign will also be seen on the LED signs at the entrance of O’Hare International Aiport (ORD), signage at cab booths at both ORD and Midway Airport. Navy Pier and McCormick Place will also provide literature at their information desks as well as their websites.
Both Arro and Curb will provide a “How To” video on their app that will be posted on the City of Chicago’s YouTube channel as well as shared on BACPs social media accounts for maximum exposure and education.
Arro and Curb are operating as part of the City of Chicago CHICABS program, which houses all approved universal taxi app providers. Learn more about the CHICABS program at www.chicabs.org.
Today’s announcement is the latest step taken by the Emanuel Administration to bring innovation to the taxi industry and further benefit taxi drivers. As part of the Mayor’s 2016 budget passed by City Council, taxi drivers received a 15 percent fare increase that took effect on January 1, 2016. This change will boost average taxi driver income by $4,000 to $10,000 annually.
Additionally, as a result of the recently amended taxicab license holder rules and regulations, the credit card transaction fee imposed on taxi drivers was reduced to 4 percent effective January 1, 2016 and will further be reduced to 3 percent starting July 1, 2016, resulting in an additional $375 to $800 in annual income for the average taxi driver. Taxi drivers are also now entitled to revenue generated by exterior advertising.
BACP oversees the licensing of Chicago’s public chauffeurs and public vehicles including taxicabs, transportation network providers, liveries, charter and site seeing buses, horse drawn carriages, ambulances, water taxis and tour boats. The department oversees the purchasing of taxicab medallions, vehicle inspections and rates of fare. Learn more about BACP’s Public Vehicle Operations at www.cityofchicago.org/BACP.