Cab Sharing App Launches Early to Help Amid G Train Shutdown
GREENPOINT — Stranded G train riders will soon have another transit option: a cab sharing mobile app.
Cab With Me is launching its mobile version a month earlier than anticipated in hopes of helping people near the G train, which isn't running between Nassau Avenue and Court Square until September.
The free app, which has had a web-based version for a year, uses GPS to match users with others nearby who are going to the same place. The new iPhone and Android app is now available to download and officially launches Sunday.
The G train serves 125,000 people a day, and the shutdown is expected to affect 30,000 of them.
"We're putting it out there in a big way to try to help these people decrease the cost of the cabs they're going to have to take because of the G train outage," said Josh Wittman, founder of Cab With Me.
RELATED G TRAIN COVERAGE
Cab With Me works to unite people who want to take cabs using Facebook photos, basic info and chat services.
The app recommends that people put in their rides about 15 minutes before they want to leave so that there's time for a match to happen.
Once the two people meet up, they can take whichever service they want, like a yellow cab, Uber or Lyft.
"The beauty of Cab With Me is that it connects two people together," Wittman said. "It does not, by design, lock you into an Uber or Lyft or black car booking system."
Wittman thought of the idea a year ago after a downtown shuttle that used to run from Stuyvesant Town stopped, leaving many residents without an easy commute option.
Now, roughly 500 people are already using the web-based app weekly, mostly in the morning and evening for work commutes, Wittman said.
The "stretch goal" for Cab With Me is to help reduce pollution in the city, Wittman said.
A recent MIT study found that of 150 million cab rides in 2011 in New York, 80 percent of them could have been shared.