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Taxi App Development: Extensive Guide with All Steps Covered

20 min read
10-Step Taxi App Development Guide

Uber has long become a synonym of taxi services.

Commuting or even traveling in a different country, it’s almost impossible to imagine a trip that doesn’t involve Uber or another popular taxi sharing solution.

Every quarter, 1.44 billion rides are completed through Uber. That’s almost 70% of the whole US ridesharing market.

Taxi mobile app development can become a lucrative business for companies already operating in the taxi sphere and for startups that want to monetize an idea.

This article explains all aspects of taxi app development, provides insights into the process, and explains price calculation.

If you need a little sneak peek, here’s what’s you’re going to learn:

  • Is it smart to build taxi app with so many competitors on the market?
  • A dose of inspiration with the most popular taxi apps in the world
  • Step-by-step plan for cab booking app development
  • Breakdown of taxi app development cost

If you are curious about the process of taxi app development, this guide is for you.

Let’s dive right in.

Key Reasons to Build Taxi Booking App for Your Business

The market of taxi booking apps has been on the rise for a few years.

In 2022, the revenue in the taxi and ride-hailing segment is projected to reach $314 billion. The revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 5.30% in the following four years and reach $386 billion by 2026.

Uber, one of the most popular taxi riding apps, made $14.46 billion in revenue in 2021, which made it the biggest taxi app in the world. Lyft follows suit with $3.2 billion.

The growth of the market continues, making more and more businesses pay attention to taxi app development services. Whether you’re a business already working in the taxi industry or just contemplating the idea of entering it, you can enjoy its benefits since such applications simplify the lives of both drivers and passengers.

Passengers get the following advantages:

  • Now taxi-hailing on curbsides
  • User-friendly payment method
  • Transparency and safety
  • Detailed ride estimation
  • Time-saving ride-booking

For drivers, the benefits are not less diverse:

  • Convenient system of finding passengers
  • Online payments
  • Feedback for each passenger
  • GPS support for easy driving around cities

The Most Popular Taxi Applications in the World

The Most Popular Taxi App Solutions

It’s now time for a dose of inspiration. The table below presents a list of the most popular cab booking apps in the world with some exciting statistics attached that will make your heart roar with the desire to start taxi mobile app development right away.

App General info Description Key statistics
Uber
  • Founded in 2009
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA
Uber is an indisputable leader on the market of taxi applications. The app owns 71% of the world’s market share in the ride-sharing industry.
  • Revenue: $14.46 billion
  • Market share: 71%
  • 1.44 billion rides completed every quarter
  • 93 million monthly app users
Lyft
  • Founded in 2012
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA
Lyft is the number two app among taxi applications. The company covers around 25 percent of ride-hailing services in the USA.
  • Revenue: $3.2 billion
  • Market share: 29%
  • 13.5 quarterly active rides
Curb
  • Founded: 2012
  • Headquarters: New York, USA
Curb is a popular solution for taxi-hailing in the USA that offers a range of B2C, B2B, and B2G (government) services.
  • Revenue: 
  • $12.6 million
  • 10+ monthly trips
  • 100K+ drivers
DiDi
  • Founded: 2012
  • Headquarters: Beijing, China
DiDi is a Chinese version of Uber and the only taxi riding solution in China. 
  • Revenue: $21.63 billion
  • 60 million daily grips globally
  • 15 million annual active drivers
Ola Cabs
  • Founded: 2010
  • Headquarters: Bangalore, India
Ola Cabs is the largest ride-sharing app in India that operates in 169+ cities.
  • Revenue: $340 million
  • Market share: 50% of the ride-hailing market in India
  • 1.5 million daily rides
Grab
  • Founded: 2012
  • Headquarters: Jakarta, Indonesia
Grab is a multinational taxi-hailing solution that offers transportation services, food delivery, and digital payments services.
  • Revenue: $82.8 million
  • 187 million users
  • 48 million daily rides
  • 2.8 million drivers
Bolt
  • Founded: 2013
  • Headquarters: Tallinn, Estonia
Bolt is a multinational ride-hailing solution that operates in 35 countries in Europe, North America, Africa, and the Middle East.
  • Revenue: $525 million
  • 100+ million customers across all locations
  • 500,000+ drivers
Cabify
  • Founded: 2011
  • Headquarters: Madrid, Spain
Cabify is one of the most popular providers of taxi-hailing services in South America, Spain, and Portugal.
  • Revenue: $516 million
  • 33 million registered users
  • 400,000 drivers
Careem
  • Founded: 2016
  • Headquarters: Dubai

Careem is a ride-hailing company in the Middle East and the most popular transportation solution in Dubai.

In 2020, Uber acquired Careem for $3.1 billion.

  • 4.3 million yearly rides
  • 52% of customers in the UAE use Careem to commute to work
  • 46% of users turn to Careem for leisure trips

Did you get inspired to build an app like Uber?

Check our article which explains the process of taxi app development step by step.

Taxi Mobile App Development: Step-by-Step Guide

chart created with amCharts | amCharts

Taxi app development consists of the following steps:

  1. Conduct market research
  2. Make competitor analysis
  3. Validate app idea
  4. Create app design
  5. Choose a technology stack
  6. Decide on features
  7. Choose monetization strategy
  8. Start app development process
  9. Launch the app and plan for ongoing development
  10. Work on marketing and promotion

Read on if you’re interested in discovering the details of each plan.

Otherwise, you can get in touch with us to discuss your project. Our team will cover you on all fronts and help develop a taxi app for your existing business or a startup.

Step 1: Conduct market research

Whether you already have an app idea concept or just exploring the possibility of taxi app development, market research should be your starting point.

First of all, decide what type of app you are going to develop. You can create a dedicated taxi booking app – an app for an already existing taxi business or an aggregator taxi booking app like Uber or Lyft.

There are also different apps for transportation that you can build:

  • Carpooling app
  • Car rental app
  • Bus booking app
  • Bike-sharing
  • Employee transportation app
  • Truck and logistic solutions
  • Car fleet management solutions

After you’ve identified your niche, take a look at the market and evaluate the situation. Market analysis will help you identify your USP (Unique Value Proposition) before you invest in taxi mobile app development.

Step 2: Make competitor analysis

After you’ve identified your niche, take a look at the market and evaluate the situation. Market analysis will help you identify your USP (Unique Value Proposition) before you invest in taxi mobile app development.

Look through your future competitors, analyze their strong and weak points. Try to identify features that they lack, areas that they don’t cover and identify how you can make your app better.

Step 3: Validate an app idea

the analysis should encompass market research and communication with the target audience. You can make polls to ask the audience about their pains, what existing solutions on the market lack, and what features they’d like to have in a taxi application.

This information will help to form an app idea and create a USP that will meet user demands.

Business Model Canvas is one of the ways to organize all the information gathered during market research. This approach helps you document all the aspects of an app idea. Business model canvas usually consists of nine blocks:

  • Key partners
  • Key activities
  • Value proposition (for drivers, for passengers)
  • Channels
  • Customer segments (drivers, passengers)
  • Customer relationships
  • Cost structure
  • Revenues

Below you can see a template of a business model canvas for taxi app development.

Taxi App Development Business Model Canvas

Key partners

• Key partners
• API providers
• Investors
• Payment gateways
• Car rental partners

Key activities

• Developing and maintaining the product
• Acquiring customers
• Hiring drivers
• Managing driver payouts
• Expanding to more cities

Key resources

• Technology platform
• Skilled drivers
• Marketing strategy
• Brand identity

Key partners

For riders:
• On-demand bookings
• Real-time tracking
• ETA
• Cashless rides
• Ability to contact a driver
• Availability of contact and car details
• Easy refund procedure

For drivers:
• Additional source of income
• Flexible work schedule
• Easy payment procedure
• Dynamic pricing

Customer relationships

• Review and rating system
• Customer support
• Social media

Cost structure

• Product development
• Marketing
• Employee salaries
• Legal and settlement costs
• Lobbying and regulatory compliance
• Expansion to more cities and countries
• Insurance

Customer segments

Riders:
• People who don’t own a car
• People who don’t want to drive themselves
• People who want a premium ride

Drivers:
• People who own a car and want to earn money

Revenue streams

• Commission per ride
• Surge pricing
• Premium rides
• Promotional partnership

Step 4: Create app design

App design is the first thing users see when they open your app. In fact, they see it even before opening an app by looking at the app icon.

Underestimating the importance of app design is the worst thing that you can make for a business.

Mobile app design usually covers two parts of the app:

  • User experience (UX) – defines how users will interact with your application, sets up user flows, and app screens layouts.
  • User interface (UI) – defines how the app and all the in-app elements will look like for end-users, what colors the app will use.

During car booking app development, you should create an app that not only looks great but also meets the best design practices. Google has Material Design Guidelines and Apple has Human Interface Guidelines that provide designers with guidelines on how to create user-friendly mobile applications.

Step 5: Decide on features

The next step of taxi app development is deciding on the set of features that an app will offer. The feature set will be divided into three interconnected parts:

  • Features for drivers
  • Features for passengers
  • Features for admins

Let’s review some of the most basic and advanced features for taxi mobile app development.

The table below presents a list of basic features that you can include into your mobile application.

Features for passengers Features for drivers Features for admins
Registration (with social media) Registration (with social media) Secure login
User profile Driver profile Driver & passenger management
Taxi booking Availability status Fleet management
Fare calculation Trip notifications Locations & fare management
In-app payment Trip information Booking management
Driver tracking Push notifications Ratings & reviews management
Driver rating & review Navigation (with automatic optimal route selection) Notification management
Push notifications Messaging Driver’s orders & payoffs management
Travel history Passenger rating & review Driver and user support
Emergency button Car booking acceptation or cancellation In-app analytics
    System content management
    FAQ

You can create the wow effect by integrating some advanced features.

Pro tip: launch an MVP with the basic set of features that will ensure the viability of the application. After the successful launch and first feedback from users, move on to adding new and more advanced features.

There are a plethora of features that you can add. Some of them are listed in the table below.

Features for passengers Features for drivers Features for admins
Pickup location Passenger destinations Dispatches management
Split payment Waiting time Refunds management
Ride cancellation (with or without fines) Heat maps Promotion & discount management
Book rides for someone else Forward dispatch Ride settings
Book rides in advance Smartwatch access Country & currency settings
Favorite locations Auto dispatch Heat map
Interactive map   Flat pricing
Voice control   Zone pricing
Gamification   Surge pricing
Discounts, referral rewards    
Smartwatch access    

Step 6: Choose a technology stack

Now that you know what features you want to implement during cab booking app development, it’s time to decide on the technology stack for your application.

  iOS Android
Programming language Swift, Objective-C Kotlin, Java
Navigation & geolocation

MapKit

Corelocation

Google Maps

Google Location Services API

Push notifications

Apple Push Notifications Service (APN)

Twilio

Nexto

Plivo

Sinch

Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM)

Twilio

Nexto

Plivo

Sinch

Payment gateways

Stripe

PayPal

Braintree

Apple Pay

Stripe

PayPal

Braintree

Google Pay

Want to create a taxi booking app but confused where to start?

Get in touch with our team for project discussion. We are a team of professionals with over 8 years of experience delivering digital products to clients all over the world.

Step 7: Choose monetization strategy

Now that you know what features your app will offer to users, it’s time to decide how the app will bring you money. There are different monetization strategies that you can implement and we reviewed some of the most important ones below.

  • Commission

This monetization model implies carding drivers with a service fee for every ride they perform. The commission may vary from 20 to 25 percent.

  • Cancellation fee

You can also charge users a cancellation fee every time they can cancel a ride.

  • Advertising

You can run ads in your taxi application, charging for every view or cost per click.

  • Third-party promotions

A great example of third-party promotions is used in Uber when the company partners with famous brands and promotes their services or products. Users can receive some bonuses or gifts from brands that work with your application.

Step 8: Start app development process

Before you start taxi app development, you need to find a company that will perform all technical tasks. There are numerous taxi app development companies that you can choose from. Clutch, The Manifest, GoodFirms, and other review platforms are great starting points in your research.

Choosing between companies, keep in mind the difference in taxi app development cost based on the region of outsourcing.

For example, hourly rates for taxi app development services in the USA are around $150-200. The same services cost a lot less in Europe – around $50 per hour. At the same time, choosing Europe you don’t need to sacrifice quality for cost-efficiency. 

Step 9: Launch the app & plan for ongoing development

After the app is ready, you’ll need to submit it to app marketplaces and launch to the market. A taxi booking app development company usually takes on such tasks so you don’t need to worry about it. So, you won’t need to worry about the technical side of the app launch.

Step 10: Work on marketing & promotion

But what you’ll need to worry about is app promotion. In best scenarios, app promotion should start long before the app launches into the market. You can use a whole range of marketing tools and services to spread the word about your application, including

  • Paid ads
  • SMM (social media marketing)
  • Content and SEO
  • Influencer marketing
  • Partnerships and collaborations

After the app launch, you’ll need to gather user feedback and analyze the first results to plan for ongoing taxi app development and support.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Taxi App?

Let’s move on to the most important question – cost.

Taxi app development cost ranges between $100,00 to $170,000 for one platform (iOS or Android). The more platforms and features you can, the higher the development cost.

As mentioned before, development cost highly depends on the outsourcing location. By choosing countries outside the USA, especially in Europe, you can create two app versions – for iOS and Android – while in the USA the same sum will allow you to build only one version of a taxi application.

Want to create a taxi booking app?

Drop us a line to discuss your project, get a free consultation and project estimate. Our team has experience building apps for the transportation industry and will be glad to bring your idea to life.

How much does it cost to build a taxi app like Uber?

Taxi app development cost may vary from $100,000 to $170,000 for one app version for a single platform (iOS or Android). The final taxi app development cost depends on a number of factors, such as the outsourcing location, number of features and their complexity, and number of supported platforms.

How much money can I make with a taxi app?

The answer depends on your business model and monetization strategy. The most popular taxi apps in the world make billions. For example, Uber made $14.46 billion in revenue in 2021 while Lyft made $3.2 billion.

What are the steps to create a taxi app?

First of all, you need to decide what app you are going to develop. Second, you need to understand what budget you are ready to invest. After that, you can start looking for a taxi booking app development company that will help you transfer an idea from your head to reality.

Does it make sense to build a taxi app in 2022?

In 2022, the revenue in the taxi and ride-hailing industry is projected to reach $314 billion. In the following four years, the revenue is expected to grow at a rate of 5.30% and reach 386 billion by 2026. As you can see, the industry is on the rise and will continue growing over the years.

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