2/20/2015

App Name Makes Old Cab Company New Again

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San Francisco's oldest taxi company is teaming with a new smartphone app to boost business.

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San Francisco's oldest taxi company is teaming with a new smartphone app to boost business.

In the wake of competition from such rideshare programs as Uber, the DeSoto Cab Co. is now named Flywheel Taxi. The moniker was inspired by California-based Upstart Mobile's Flywheel app that enables users to order, track and pay fares for taxis with their smartphones. Both companies agreed to the promotion, which involves no cross-investment.

DeSoto Cab President Hansu Kim says the change aims to signal that traditional taxi services can provide services just as advanced as car-sharing companies.

From the Flywheel app company perspective, the branded taxis will serve as moving billboards.

Flywheel Taxi company's 220 cabs are now painted bright red and bear the Flywheel Taxi logo as well as app store logos to promote the smartphone app.