Morgan Tait

Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's consumer affairs reporter.

Phone app joins fixed-rate movement

Zoomy co-founders Neil MacDonald (left) and James Fisk with a Zoomy driver.
Zoomy co-founders Neil MacDonald (left) and James Fisk with a Zoomy driver.

A local taxi-booking smartphone app is the latest service to offer a fixed rate for Auckland airport passengers.

Zoomy said yesterday it had reprogrammed its app to charge $50 for passengers heading to the airport from the CBD, while competitor Uber - which launched last week - offers a flat $70 fare.

While other taxi companies in the city offer fixed fares from as low as $35 for trips to the airport, Green Cabs yesterday became the first airport-contracted company to lock in two-way fixed rates. The move came after Herald coverage of unsuspecting passengers being charged excessively high fares for trips from the airport.

Zoomy co-founder James Fisk said excessive taxi fares were "simply not on".

"Travellers deserve peace of mind of how much their cab will cost, when it will arrive and that their driver is safe, accredited and accountable," he said. His app also offers fixed fares from areas outside the CBD.

The apps have been praised for giving consumers more informed choices when shopping around for a ride.

Technology commentator Lance Wiggs said: "The effect will be on convenience, and I'd expect that use of taxis will increase when we know how long a cab will take to get to where we are, and we can estimate costs to where we are going."

Uber regional general manager Mike Brown said its flat fare removed stress for travellers.

Other options for airport passengers to beat high prices include shared shuttle van services from about $30, the $16 Airbus Express and a combination of train and Auckland Transport's 380 Airporter bus for about $8.

How the apps work

• Download the app on to your smartphone.

• Type your pick-up location and intended destination.

• Watch your taxi make its way to you on a real-time map.

• Rate your experience to help other users select the best ride.

- NZ Herald

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