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Founded in 2009, Flywheel software has made a name in its industry, but still focuses on several major service areas, rather than nationwide. Flywheel is a unique company in the increasingly popular field of ride-sharing apps. While it shares many features in common with traditional ride-sharing networks, Flywheel has chosen to work with taxi companies instead of against them, creating a more up-to-date, convenient taxiing service. Like famous apps Uber and Lyft, Flywheel is controlled and paid for through a simple mobile app, but unlike these services, it retains the professionalism and aesthetic of traditional taxicab services. 

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The Good

  • Benefits
  • No surge pricing
  • Mobile app

Flywheel has all the benefits of a traditional taxicab-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. Because of this, Flywheel has one of the fastest wait times among similar companies.

Flywheel rides are priced like a normal taxi in your city. While many car-ride applications have surge hours and pricing, 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 easy tipping is available through the application.

Unlike traditional taxicab companies, all transactions are done through the Flywheel app, including requesting a ride, paying for a ride, and rating the experience. In addition, Flywheel does not participate in "surge pricing" (charging more for busier times of the day). So basically, Flywheel takes the professional part of taxis and the convenient part of peer-to-peer ride-sharing and brings them together.

Flywheel works with taxi companies, not against them, providing a fleet of professionally licensed drivers who adhere to the legal regulations in your area. Getting a Flywheel driver and car is basically the same as getting a normal taxi, but with the convenience of a mobile application to order your ride, keep track of your driver, and pay easily.

Flywheel's app makes taxi usability faster and more convenient. After downloading the application, 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.

The Bad

  • Availability
  • Taxi pricing

Flywheel is also only available in major areas along the west coast, so those traveling outside their service area will have to choose an alternate service. This, of course, is not a problem for those operating mainly within these areas, but is important to understand for those who don't. Car availability is expanding, but varies by city, however Flywheel has a large fleet of taxis available throughout our serviced areas and will accommodate the size of your party. Flywheel is available in the following 9 areas on the west coast:

  • San Francisco
  • The Greater San Francisco Bay Area
  • Oakland
  • San Jose
  • San Diego
  • Sacramento
  • Los Angeles
  • Seattle
  • Portland

Unlike apps that are focused on price slashing, Flywheel operates at the same price-level as normal taxi companies, 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-sharing apps are not.

The Bottom Line

Flywheel is a great service for those looking for the professionalism of taxicabs and the convenience of ridesharing. With fast pick-up times and a fleet of taxi cabs and certified taxi drivers available at the click of a button, Flywheel has a unique alternative to peer-to-peer ridesharing. While we wish Flywheel was available in more areas, we appreciate the no-surge pricing policies and the commitment to professional services. Those that use FlyWheel can expect the following from the service:

  1. Limited service area
  2. Large fleet/car options
  3. Competitive pricing
  4. Cancellation fee charged

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