Flywheel Logo
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Started in 2009, Flywheel Software offers solutions for taxicab fleets, drivers, and riders. Its products allow users to hail and pay for a nearby, licensed, registered taxi through a mobile app.

While it shares many features in common with other ride-sharing networks, Flywheel has chosen to work with taxi companies and fleet owners, instead of against them, creating a more up-to-date, convenient taxi service. The mobile technologies used help cab companies to gain a competitive advantage, immediately connecting them with people needing a ride.

Like ride-hailing transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft, Flywheel is controlled and paid for through a simple mobile app, but unlike these services, it is not a peer-to-peer service. It connects professional taxi drivers with those in need of a ride.

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The Good

  • Benefits
  • No Surge Pricing
  • Mobile App

Benefits

Flywheel has all the benefits of traditional taxi services—thorough background checks for drivers, proper driver certification, and a fleet of taxis all over serviced areas at users' beck and call. As a company, it has assimilated many taxi companies and updated them for riders' convenience. Flywheel can provide passengers with some of the fastest pickup times among similar companies.

No Surge Pricing

Rides are priced like normal yellow taxis in your city. While many car services have surge hours and pricing during high demand times, Flywheel operates at steady rates, for a "fair fare" at all times. On average, to go 5 miles from the airport, it will cost you anywhere from $22.78 to $55.64 depending on traffic. Flywheel estimates you will pay $28.90 for this trip. This money comes from the following:

  • An initial fare of $3.50
  • Time and distance fare of $19.58
  • Flywheel fee of $1.00
  • Tip of $4.82

A $5 cancellation fee is charged if you cancel within two minutes of pick-up and tipping is available through the application.

Mobile App

Unlike traditional taxicab companies, all transactions are done through the smartphone app, including requesting, paying for, and rating your ride. Flywheel brings together the professionalism of traditional taxi companies and the convenience of peer-to-peer ride-sharing. Flywheel works with licensed taxi companies, not against them, providing a fleet of professional drivers who adhere to the legal regulations in your area. 

After downloading the application from the app store, users can select their preferred pick-up location on a map by using their phone's GPS or manually typing the desired address, then selecting "Request Ride." Soon after, the selected driver's information and Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) will appear at the top of the screen. All payment is done through the application, making Flywheel a seamless experience.

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The Bad

  • Availability
  • Taxi Pricing

Availability

Flywheel taxi app services are only available in four major areas along the west coast, so those traveling outside their service area will have to choose an alternate. This, of course, is not a problem for those operating mainly within these areas, but is important to understand. Flywheel is currently available in the following areas on the West Coast:

  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Seattle

Taxi Pricing

Unlike apps that are focused on price slashing, Flywheel operates at the same price-level as normal taxi fleets. So, if pricing is the draw to apps like Uber or Lyft, Flywheel may not be as competitive. However, with their anti-surge pricing policy, Flywheel is consistent when other ride-hailing apps are not.

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The Bottom Line

Flywheel is a great service for those looking for the professionalism of permitted taxicab services and the convenience and mobile technology of the ridesharing business model. 

With fast pick-up times and a fleet of cabs and certified taxi drivers available at the click of a button, this car service is a unique, competitive alternative to peer-to-peer ridesharing. 

While we wish Flywheel was available in more areas, city dwellers in Sacramento, San Diego, the Bay Area, and Seattle will appreciate being able to easily hail a cab and the alternative to ridesharing surge pricing. We appreciate these convenient rate policies and the commitment to professional services. 

This company ventures to bring the traditional taxi industry into the IoT age with enhanced technology. 

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