PickMe is a taxi hailing app that's been around for 6 months now, having started off in June. They're focus is predominantly on tuk tuks, but they also have nanocabs and cars as well. They've streamlined their service over the past few months and seem to have tweaked the app up a bit so it's pretty smooth now.
We've tried it a few times and we've liked it.
You need to install the app first, either into your Android, iPhone or Windows Phone. Setting up is relatively simple with you just registering, and then that information's stored so you don't have to sign in every time you use it.
The app detects your location when you open it up, and then shows you how many vehicles are available in the area, and how far the closest one is from you. You can either hail one to come to you directly, or book it for later. Sometimes though, the location detector is a bit wonky and you'll have to drag the little human silhouette to where you are.
If you 'Book Now', the next step is to 'Request Taxi'. A few seconds after tapping this button, you'll get details of the driver assigned to you — details which includes what taxi service he's from, his phone number, name, and base price plus price per kilometer. PickMe's prices are generally Rs. 35/KM or less.
You'll also get a text message as soon as your booking is confirmed (with the taxi's details), when the taxi arrives, and soon as you reach your destination (with the fare). I requested a tuk tuk to Narahenpita, and my ride was there within five minutes.
Given that the app comes with a map and your location pinned, drivers generally don't need to call as they can just come to where you're at but they always call up anyway. They also give you a buzz when they arrive. Kinda redundant, given that you get a text, and a notification on the app itself, but hey. Always good to double check.
The drivers are generally very polite and friendly. I've had only two minor hiccups, when the drivers cancelled out on the hire before coming to pick me (no pun intended), but was able to book another tuk tuk immediately after.
Tuk tuks have their generic metre as well as the PickMe device installed in their tuk. If you don't see the device (usually an android smartphone) attached to the top of the tuk tuk, don't worry because it's right there behind the steering wheel.
They tell me there's an application and a selection process when enrolling new drivers into the team, and that as of recently, they have to make a downpayment of around Rs. 2000 or so for the device installed in their tuks. Most tuk drivers hear about this from word-to-mouth, and sign up because of the hires it brings in. They're also free to turn off the PickMe Metre and run on their own metres/ private hires whenever they want to.
Passengers don't end up paying anything extra, and the PickMe metre is cheaper than the regular one already in the tuk tuk more often than not. I hitched a ride from Narahenpita to Wattala, and it came upto Rs.530 as opposed to the Rs.600-Rs.700 it usually costs if I got a metre tuk off the road.
The app understandably had a few hiccups when it began, but seems to have ironed most of it out now. The cabs are available mostly in the Colombo region, even late-ish at night. The best part is that you'd know if there are vehicles available or not, instead of having to call up taxi companies and being put on hold until they find out and get back with the information for you. The other best part is not having to bother making phone calls and explaining where you want to have to go to before even getting a taxi — with PickMe, you can tell this directly to the driver when the tuk is at your doorstep.
PickMe has developed and now provides commendable and hassle-free taxi service. We love it.
PickMe is an app that lets you summon a cab (mostly trishaws) from your iPhone or Android device. We tried it and it works. Mostly.
සිංහල තවම පටන් අරන් වැඩි කාලයක් නැතත් කොළඹ අවට ත්රීවීල්වල නිතර ගමන්බිමන් යන අය අතර පික් මී දැනටමත් ගොඩක් ජනප්රියයි.
Good bean bags. 'nuff said.
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