Lakeview

RedEye 'Hoods




Lakeview

Need a cab? Just tweet it.

Need a cab? Just tweet it.

(Image taken from Twitter.com/ChicagoCabbie)

A local Chicago cab driver is taking his business to a new level. Operating under the Twitter handle @ChicagoCabbie, Rashid Temuri reaches his customers through social media, according to a recent article on Ars Technica.

Here’s how it works: Instead of operating through a dispatching service like most cab drivers do, Temuri will tweet his location and then quickly respond to a nearby customer in need. He can also be tracked on FourSquare.

For example, this morning he tweeted:

Hello #Chicago! I’m at #ORD if U are flyin’ in or in the area & need a #taxi let me know! 28° cold outside. Thanks :) http://4sq.com/ydWWo8
And apparently, Rashid says his connection to social media is good for business. He estimates his clientele is 90-95 repeat business – a factor he says is more enjoyable for both driver and customer.
 
“My goal is to change this business to the point when you get into a taxi you feel comfortable, welcome and if its possible entertained,” Temuri said to Ars Technica‘s Jaqui Cheng. “When you call me, you know who I am and who will be showing up at your door.”
 
For me, Temuri has a point. Especially when I’ve traveled alone on business trips, there’s always a feeling of anxiety before getting picked up – what will the driver be like? Will the cab be clean? Will it smell funny? With Temuri, you know what you’re getting every time – an advantage I think most people appreciate.
 
As far as other social media taxi apps are concerned, Temuri says his favorite is Taxi Magic, although the app charges additional fees to the drivers who use it. Still, the app lets you find a taxi and pay by credit card directly through the app. Convenient for customers, but for drivers like Temuri who already accept credit cards, not very helpful.
 
So next time you’re in need of a ride in our great city, think twice before wandering to the nearest street corner to hail a taxi in the cold – @ChicagoCabbie is just a tweet away. For more information, visit Temuri’s homepage.


What do YOU think?

We're always on the lookout for more local news freelancers and opinion writers. Interested? Great! E-mail us at redeyehoods@tribune.com

Working for tips! Send us one