Cab company ‘fighting back’ against Uber with mobile push

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Hailing a cab is getting easier. That’s the hope, at least, for a local cab company.

They don’t like the share of the market they’ve lost to Uber and plan to launch their own app.

There are a lot of ways to get around the capital city. The Uber app, which allows anyone who meets certain requirements to get paid to pick up passengers, is a popular one. Just a couple of taps on a smartphone and you get a ride.

It’s been in Harrisburg for the last year or so to the dismay of some cab companies.

Ron Sims has been driving for Uber since it came to the area.

“All my customers are dedicated Uber people,” he said. “They love Uber.”

The news that a local cab company is getting into the mobile game doesn’t surprise him.

“I think they should have an app,” Sims said.

Harrisburg City Cabs hopes to launch their app this week to get back customers they’ve lost.

The company says it’s difficult to judge just how much traffic Uber has taken from them, but it’s noticeable. Still, they’re looking to hire about 20 more drivers and say their mobile platform is just one more way to stay competitive.

City Cabs (which also serves the West Shore, Carlisle, and York) didn’t want to talk on camera Sunday, but operations manager Leon Spriggs said in a phone conversation their app, which will be called Taxi Cab, will be “exactly like Uber” but with an option to pay cash.

The company, which Spriggs said has to “see where the industry is heading,” tried once before to utilize an app, but didn’t like the developer. This attempt uses a different developer.

It’s certainly not the first company to try it: Lancaster’s Yellow Cab, for instance, has an app. But Sims said some of his clientele doesn’t trust cab companies. They buy into the Uber movement, just like he does.

“I’m Uber. I’m every bit of Uber,” Sims said. “I’m part of something good.”

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