Indianapolis startup brings cab service to your smartphone

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Getting a cab in Indianapolis is not always easy, but a new startup company hopes to change the way Hoosiers hail a taxi by utilizing their smartphones.

The app, called Pocket Cab, launches in Indianapolis this Friday. You can download it for free on the iPhone or Android marketplace.

“I honestly think that in five to 10 years, people will forget that we ever called a cab,” founder Avram Rampersaud said.

Rampersaud came up with the idea after he couldn’t find a cab himself. Similar technology exists in London and is being tested in New York City, but Rampersaud thought Indianapolis needed its own easy way to hail a cab.

“There (are) 34 different cab companies in Indianapolis (and) you don’t know which one’s closest,” Rampersaud said.

Pocket Cab works directly with individual drivers, who have their own version of the app which allows them to find customers.

It works with a few simple steps. You just tell the app that you want a cab, then input your information. The app sends a message to the cabs closest to you, who can then choose to accept your business. You can then watch on a map as the cab makes its way to you.

“Definitely, it’ll make everybody’s day easier,” cab driver Toyin Adeniyi said.

Adeniyi said he can’t wait to use the service and knows many other drivers who are on board, too. Right now, Adeniyi said making a living as a driver in Indianapolis can be difficult.

“You’re usually waiting about two, maybe three hours to pick up somebody,” Adeniyi said.

Bar owners are promoting the app, too. At O’Reilly’s Pub, manager Joel Reitz said the app would make it easier for patrons to hail a cab, instead of having to ask the bartenders to call a cab company for them.

“If it catches on inside of our restaurant, it’s great for us,” Reitz said.

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