A Guide to Gett
The way that the taxi industry operates has been shaken up somewhat recently, with new regulations, apps, ridesharing, and even the services that the humble taxi offers to customers undergoing change.
Much of this has been brought on by technology, with many local private hire businesses now having another mode of contact as well as the traditional land-line; the mobile app.
This use of mobile tech hasn’t just allowed existing local businesses to make it easier and more efficient for customers to get in touch, but for new companies to make their way into the UK's thriving taxi trade. By now you're surely heard of Uber - if not, just read our earlier blog post on the company - but it turns out that they’re not the only mobile focused newcomers operating on these shores.
Indeed, it’s not just Uber who’ve gained a foothold across a number of UK cities. Founded in Israel, taxi app Gett has quietly expanded its operations to around 25 cities up and down the UK, including London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Bath, Bradford, Nottingham, and Newcastle.
It also might not seem like it, but Gett isn’t exactly the newcomer that many might think it to be either. In fact, the company has operated in the UK for around 4 years now, originally launching in London under the name "Get Taxi'.
Compared to their rivals, Gett operate on slightly different terms. The general premise of the Gett app appears similar to most taxi apps; connect to GPS, view drivers in real time on a map, and book the nearest driver to your location. So far, not much different to what your tech savvy local private hire company has been doing for a while.
However, Gett only allows licensed black cab drivers to register with them. It's for this reason that Gett has avoided the scrutiny that many rideshare apps have come under by both the media and existing taxi trade. For the Taxi industry – particular black cab drivers – Gett is often seen to be working with the trade, rather than against it. For customers, the impression is that Gett is safer than other apps, even though drivers of rideshare apps in the UK must be licensed in order to operate legally.
Regardless, the introduction of a range of newcomer apps has meant that Gett has had to innovate and offer a wider service in order to try and stay ahead of the competition. This has seen the introduction of Gett Kiosks to select locations in the country, which allow customers to book a taxi without directly using their mobile phone.
Alongside this, Gett have also made moves to expand their core operations. This includes the proposal to offer transportation of a wide set of goods to customers, including food and shopping, in the same way that takeaway and online supermarket delivery drivers do.
If this seems like quite a big step away from being a taxi service, their next suggestion is a giant leap. Alongside Gett Pizza and Gett Groceries, the company has also hinted at partnering with local businesses and trade providers, to bring services like Gett Plumber to customers. Whilst full details of this haven't yet been disclosed, this would presumably be a service that operates like their current taxi app, but instead of identifying a taxi driver in your area, you'd be identifying a local tradesman. Whether they'd get to you in a taxi is their decision, presumably.
Whilst this might seem far-fetched, when put into consideration it's not too different to the steps that the taxi industry has made in the past couple of years. A decade ago, tracking your taxi on a portable screen would have been unthinkable, but now it’s an established practice. As we’ve seen previously, change is something that's perhaps inevitable in industry, and is essential to ensure that the industry in question survives. Apps like Gett are perhaps simply filling a gap in the taxi market that with the rise of technology, would have been filled in anyway.