• Chris Hall

REINVENTING LAS VEGAS TAXI


As we install our platform in Houston this week, we wanted to explore and share the benefits we have brought to the Las Vegas Taxi industry, and plan to bring to Houston and other taxi markets nationwide.

In 2015, we invested our best-in-class federally regulated meter and proprietary software platform into Yellow Checker Star Transportation (YCS), Las Vegas, with the goal of revolutionizing existing processes and creating business-wide efficiencies. Since then, our arrival has changed how Vegas fleets traditionally operate, with over 90% of businesses now running under the Kaptyn platform.

Upgrading Fleets in a Cash Flow and Cost Effective Way

For decades’ taxi companies have used the same outdated processes that prove costly and time consuming, precluding them from unlocking their full economic potential. When creating the Kaptyn's smart taxi platform, we analyzed fleets down to their fine tunings and examined all the potential possibilities that could make fleets more e efficient. Prior to using the DT5 SmartMeter, fleets needed to purchase a meter, a radio, and a mobile data terminal. Now, having all those components in one universal device has simplified installations and training, and has given cabs a clean and refined appearance. Furthermore, the ingenuity of the SmartMeter automatically downloads the meter readings once a driver arrives on company property. Meaning, the next driver can immediately go to work, allowing YCS to get additional rides per driver per shift. Similarly, YCS had to combine multiple software systems, each with their own different processes. Where YCS had previously used one system for payroll and HR, another for dispatch, another cashiering and accounting and another for fleet management, Kaptyn brought all aspects of their fleet operations together under one universal platform.

Modernizing Existing Process

With our proprietary fleet management software CabManager we’ve created an in-depth database that collects and stores a wealth of information on each driver and vehicle in our fleets. The database stores all pertinent data for a fleet operations manager, and continuously updates itself to provide real time and historical driver/vehicle information, notes on actions and counselling, electronic document management system, daily activity and productivity information and integrated video management with recorded events.

From the very same system Payroll, HR and Accounting can access extensive data sets that pertain specifically to their functions. Where once heavily paper and filing focused, cloud based CabManager integrates electronic driver trip sheets directly into their employee payment portal. CabManger nullifies the need for countless excel spreadsheets with the ability for YCS payroll and HR to pull real time reports on payroll preparation, minimum wage and bonus qualification. All of which, is then reconciled immediately with integration into the accounting software. Efficiently upgrading processes to save time and money.

“CabManager allows me to easily identify which drivers are failing to make the company’s minimum productivity standards. Furthermore, it helps me drill down to determine which areas the driver needs to adjust in. With the easy to read graphs, I can quickly show a driver what he or she is doing compared to the other drivers on the same shift. As we go thru each graph together (book, airport trips, number of total trips, radio/computer calls, paid mile percentage, and revenue per mile), the drivers can see for themselves which areas they need to improve in. These are the same things that I have discussed with drivers for the better part of 20 years, but the addition of the visual aids seems to have a greater impact of the drivers”—Michael Bailin, Operations Manager Yellow Checker Star, Las Vegas

Through our intelligent DispatchStudio, all aspects of a professional fleet can be easily managed from a single location. Cars can be dispatched, requests taken and live monitoring of car status and location, creating an efficient, comprehensive outlook of all dispatch activities while reducing the need for back office call handlers.

By modernizing processes YCS have had no need to re-hire any lost staff over the last 2 years. Instead, they have been able to re-train 33% of their remaining staff, repurposing their functions to cover multiple roles and responsibilities. In 2016, YCS lost their Senior Accountant position but thanks to CabManager they did not lose the functionality. Similarly, with new electronic cashiering and intelligent dispatching, open positions were not needed to be filled, cashiers and dispatchers were retrained to become transaction analyst, supporting saving company resources while streamlining fleet operations.

Rethinking Dispatch

As well as producing back office efficiencies, DispatchStudio allows the integration of multiple demand sources into a single funnel. Phone calls, web requests, Bttn requests, WAV, Non-Emergency Medical requests and e-hails all go into the same central input, and are handled by the system, which dispatches the closest car to the request to ensure the fastest service possible. This closest cab technology has been a pivotal tool in increasing YCS dispatching efficiency as a whole.

“We have experienced much improved customer satisfaction and gained greater efficiencies with closest cab technology, and driver to passenger communication which has resulted in quicker response times. We have obtained more effective fleet utilization, increased productivity through economies of scale and our focus on customer service.” – Jere McBride, CTO Yellow Checker Star, Las Vegas

DispatchStudio is being used in Las Vegas by a consortium of major owners to create a true Universal Dispatch system, a model for what we believe is the future of taxi in America. In many markets, dispatch is broken. Customers are uncertain if cars will show up when they are scheduled, it is not uncommon to call multiple taxi companies with the hope that one shows up. However, frequently multiple taxis show up, only to find that the customer has already left with a different car. This breeds mistrust of calls amongst drivers, who are less likely to show up the next time, creating a vicious cycle.

Dispatch Studio solves that problem. Once a customer makes a request, the three closest cars to them are pinged through the SmartMeter. The first driver to claim the ride owns that customer, and their meter is locked until they pick up the assigned customer. By creating one single supply pool, the customer can know that they are calling for the closest taxi without having to make several requests to different companies, and the drivers have the peace of mind of knowing that a ride they claim is really theirs.

More Ways to Get a Cab Kaptyn has partnered with Bttn to provide a simple, seamless way to call a cab in busy locations with limited customer effort. Bttn is a large plastic button that, when pressed, submits a request for a car directly into the Universal Dispatch system. It is a convenient way to quickly call taxis from restaurant host stands, apartment lobbies, shopping malls, and other locations where a standard taxi queue does not make sense. In six months in Las Vegas, we have Bttn placed at 180 locations and we are already receiving nearly 30% of all dispatched rides through our ‘one tap taxi’ feature. In this era of high customer expectations for easy access to taxi supply, the Bttn's have been a popular and effective way to lower the barriers to calling a taxi and drive additional demand for Vegas cab companies at a low cost.

Looking Forward

In just under 2 years we have created a thriving fleet ecosystem in Vegas that has significantly improved the daily operations of fleets and facilitated over 60 million rides in the process. By removing the technological barriers that allowed TNC’s to gain competitive advantage, we have been able to deliver cost efficiencies to owners, create process efficiencies for employees and drivers, provide more connectivity to riders and facilitate fleet data transparency with regulators. Drivers no longer need to futilely waste time in lines and lots, crowd their dashboards or doubt the connectivity and reliability of riders. Owners can repurpose their resources with back office efficiencies, and use real time and historical data for performance monitoring, training and driver behavior improvement. Regulators can access specific reports based on live driver and fleet data to better understand and impact their city’s taxi market.

Yet, the most exciting element of our impact is that it’s just the beginning. As more cities join our universal platform, the U.S taxi market can grow together, succeeding through co-opetition and trust in an open platform that will aid and encourage technological growth nationwide.

Bring Kaptyn to your city www.kaptyn.com

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