In order to beat them, join them: local cab co. creates app

In order to beat them, join them: local cab co. creates app

Meet the newest ride sharing app in Siouxland.

No, it's not Uber or Lyft, it's Better Cab, an app for the local taxi service Yellowstone Cab here in Sioux City.

"This app is going to take over the market and the taxis around here because anybody from 12 years old to 40 years old has got a smart phone now a days," said Stoney Kuhns, a taxi driver at Yellowstone Cab.

He has been driving taxis in Siouxland since the 90's and says in order to compete with ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft, creating an app for this local service was the way to go.

"Everybody wants easy," Kuhns said. "It's push a button on your phone and you get a cab."

This idea came to Yellowstone CEO Said Zemen after finding out those 21st century taxis were heading to Sioux City.

"The taxi industry is supposed to be transformed with the technology," Zemen said. "So I asked myself, 'how are we going to take it to the next level.'"

So he hired app developers to create Better Cab, that works a lot like Uber and Lyft, but with some differences that Zemen says is beneficial.

Now the biggest thing you see with apps like Uber and Lyft are rate hikes where, at certain points in the day, the rate will increase depending on if there's more traffic out on the roads. But with the Better Cab app, that's never the case.

"It doesn't matter how busy it is," Zemen said, "it doesn't matter what time of day it is, our price is always the same."

And now Yellowstone is hiring drivers not only for their taxis, but for people who want to drive their own vehicles around, similar to Uber, but with what Kuhns says is a local feel.

"You're a Grandma and want to make a little extra money, we got you in the day time," Kuhns said. "You can bring your car out and drive, kind of like your grand kids. Mamma's taxi, well now it's true."

The biggest difference with the Better Cab app has got to be style of payment.

With Uber and Lyft, you have to use a credit card that's pre-programmed in, with Better Cab, you still can choose to pay with cash or card once the drive is complete.

Zemen says his company has a number you can call at anytime if you have questions or complaints, which he says is better than Uber because they only have an email that doesn't immediately get back to you.

Currently, there are roughly 3 to 10 Yellowstone cab's on the road each and every day.

Click here to download the app for Apple or click here to download from the Google Play Store.

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