Original San Francisco Taxi Company, DeSoto Cab, Launches First-Ever Flywheel-Branded Fleet of Cabs
Company continues its aggressive expansion as the first taxi app approved to operate at San Francisco International Airport
Redwood City, Calif.--February 18, 2015 --San Francisco’s longest-standing taxi company, DeSoto Cab , today announced that it is relaunching its fleet, branded as FlywheelTaxi . DeSoto Cab has been one of the earliest adopters of the cutting edge in taxi technology and has been a longstanding champion of Flywheel . Flywheel is the company revolutionizing the transportation industry to give consumers quick, safe, affordable taxi rides through a smartphone app. Through this partnership, Flywheel and DeSoto Cab will emphasize that Flywheel is the best way for people to get rides in San Francisco by rolling out a fleet of over 300 app-operated taxis that connect people with quick, easy rides from licensed drivers who don’t charge surge pricing. Flywheel has also reached an agreement with San Francisco International Airport (SFO), making it the first taxi app to be able to legally operate at this airport.
Flywheel brings advanced mobile technology to the taxi industry to deliver the best transportation experience to riders and drivers alike. Unlike “rideshare” apps, Flywheel works with verified and licensed taxi drivers who don’t charge exploitive surge pricing and know the city streets. These drivers have gone through a rigorous training and certification process, including federal background checks, and carry real commercial insurance . The company has seen explosive growth-- Flywheel recently announced $12 million in Series C funding, a brand new executive team, 85 percent adoption across cabs in San Francisco ( Flywheel ’s flagship city) and 10x growth across all its active cities.
Since its launch, Flywheel has forged valuable partnerships with a range of taxi fleets in San Francisco to build its brand of a fast, high-quality transportation experience. Now, DeSoto Cab will introduce its fleet of 300 FlywheelTaxi branded cars, representing a joint effort to deliver the “gold standard” of customer service. By the end of February, one in six taxis in San Francisco will be a FlywheelTaxi , a visible manifestation of the company’s increasing prevalence as it continues to reach more users and expand across the country. Given Flywheel ’s obsessive focus on delighting customers, the app will always find customers the taxi that can get to them the fastest, without any bias in favor of the newly branded taxis.
Flywheel is in the midst of operational talks with many major transportation hubs, and this agreement with San Francisco International Airport is a huge step in the company’s aggressive expansion to all major cities and airports across the nation. The company aims to improve the transportation experience at locations with high ride demand, such as downtowns and airports. Last year, Flywheel rolled out a new feature to allow people to book rides to the airport in advance. Now, this new agreement with SFO marks a key milestone for the company, signaling Flywheel ’s widespread adoption in the area.
“ Flywheel is taking taxis into the modern era allowing them to compete with--and beat--the unlicensed taxi segment" said Rakesh Mathur, CEO of Flywheel . “Our partnerships with most of the major taxi fleets in San Francisco are pivotal to providing the best consumer experience possible, and these Flywheel Taxi branded taxis are an incredible opportunity to very visibly show people our growth and commitment to customer satisfaction. With the expected increase in customer awareness from FlywheelTaxi , we expect to increase taxi ridership for all taxi fleets in the city. This partnership, alongside reaching an agreement with SFO, marks the start of the next chapter in Flywheel ’s growth, as we continue to revolutionize and bring great technology to the taxi industry.”
“Plainly put, taxi companies that fail to innovate will die,” said Hansu Kim, owner of DeSoto Cab . “Unfortunately, many companies continue to cling to antiquated cab technologies that are a hassle for consumers and result in less business for drivers. Taxis already have huge advantages for the consumer--taxi drivers are legal, licensed and insured, know the roads, can pick up street hails and always charge fair prices. DeSoto ’s partnership with Flywheel and our rebranding to FlywheelTaxi should set an example--cabs must modernize by giving consumers the mobile technology they demand, or fall irrevocably behind.”
Flywheel currently operates in five major cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Diego and Sacramento. The company plans to continue its aggressive expansion across cities, taxi fleets and airports in the U.S. throughout 2015.
To download the Flywheel app, visit the Apple App Store or Android Google Play Store , and follow Flywheel on Twitter @FlywheelNow .
Headquartered in Redwood City, Flywheel is a mobile platform for the taxi industry that connects passengers with licensed, high quality drivers. The Flywheel mobile app allows passengers to order taxi rides in real-time, track arrival via GPS and automatically pay their fare via their smartphone device.
For more information about Flywheel, visit: http://www.flywheel.com .
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