What with over 15,000 taxis in Madrid, it’s hardly ever a problem hailing one.
In fact, on any given day at the taxi stop on Bárcelo between Tribunal and Bilbao, at least a dozen taxis sit idle, waiting for a passenger.
However, finding a taxi with a safe driver that accepts credit cards is a different story. Sure, I could always call one of the reputable radio taxis, tell them I want to pay by credit card, and have them come pick me up for an additional charge. But frankly, that’s a hassle. Plus, I don’t always know exactly where I am or if my not-so-perfect Spanish has been understood by the operator.
Cabify, a Madrid-based startup, not only solves all those problems, but sends a luxury car to boot.Cabify isn’t just another radio taxi service. It’s an on-demand car service where you only pay for what you use. In other words, you only start paying at the moment that your driver gets to you and not a minute before. Regular radio taxi services start the meter from the moment the operator contacts the nearest taxi to you, which can easily add 5€ to the fare. In addition, there are no luggage or airport supplements charged with Cabify, which in a regular radio taxi would set you back another 5.50€.
As if that wasn’t a fabulous enough offering, Cabify’s app has Google Maps integrated, which lets you indicate your pick-up spot and then track your driver’s journey to you on your Android, iPhone or Blackberry. This is great for someone like me who still, after 5 years of living here, gets a little disoriented in my own neighborhood.
To use Cabify, you download the app from Google Play, iTunes or Cabify’s website for your phone. Complete the one minute registration, add a credit card to your payment details, position the pin on the map where you would like to be picked up and press the the green “set pickup location” button. Once you’ve done that, you’ll get a pop up confirmation screen with an approximate cost. Confirm the order and sit back and wait for your Mercedes Benz, Audi or other high-end car to roll up.
Head straight to your final destination or make several stops on the way. Once you’ve reached your destination, the fare will be charged to the credit card you have on file with Cabify. Rates are very competitive (Nuevos Ministerios to Airport T1 is about 27€) but there is a 10€ minimum.
Finally, an added bonus: not having to listen to my cab driver complain about traffic, public works, other drivers, the crisis, or life in general.
UPDATE: NOV 11, 2012 Cabify’s iPhone and Android apps have been completely redesigned with these new features:
– Locate your origin point and destination easily
– Make reservations from the summary screen
– Choose the payment method for each journey (with support for PayPal)
I've been living in Madrid since 2007, married to a madrileño since 2008, and mom to our son since 2011. Tech is my thing. I love salmorejo, matrimonios and cazón adobado. I don't watch football.
Image Credits: Cabify