Flywheel, ‘Uber for Taxis,’ Takes Big Apple

Flywheel NYC Expansion

Flywheel, the taxi startup that’s challenging Uber and Lyft in the ride-hailing market with its TaxiOS platform, has launched its service in New York City, TechCrunch reported on Thursday (Sept. 22).

Though the that the firm is still awaiting  final approval from the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) to operate its mobile-based taxi meter, the TLC did confirm that Flywheel has been recognized as the third authorized provider of the taxi tech systems.

Flywheel aims to help the taxi cab business go head-to-head with Uber and Lyft with its no-surge smart meter OS for cabs, enabling electronic dispatching of cars, payments, navigation and GPS-based metering.

“This has been the quintessential duopoly,” Flywheel COO Oneal Bhambani said. “For better part of decade, they have been the only licenses to do this until now. This is what we’re breaking up — this duopoly.”

Last December, Flywheel expanded its service across the entire state of California after a successful pilot program run in San Francisco.

“The pilot program in San Francisco was a huge success for us,” Flywheel CEO Rakesh Mathur told TechCrunch in an interview last year. “We knew our solution was accurate and easier to use than other options, but having actual drivers provide feedback on what they see in everyday use was invaluable. Because our system is software-based, we were able to take feedback and quickly implement it and will continue to customize our system based on the needs of the industry.”

Today, Flywheel is operating in 400 of the roughly 1,800 taxis in San Francisco and the goal is to have its mobile software running in over 1,000 NYC cabs by end of this year.