- Kara Driscoll Staff Writer
A Dayton taxi company is developing an app to compete with ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.
Anton’s Transportation, which entered the Dayton market in 1993, is releasing an app for customers in February. The app will allow customers to track the location of their taxi, and allows the passenger to pay by their phone.
The company, located at 2206 Needmore Road, has also added new vehicles to its fleet — with three new vans in 2015, and an additional 10 vans in 2016. The vans are equipped with credit card machines, so passengers can swipe for payment and print their receipt while they ride.
Daniel Smith, owner of the taxi service, told this newspaper that Uber and Lyft have pushed taxi businesses to evolve with the times.
“It’s changed a lot in the last four years,” he said. “I don’t think the change has been for the bad. It’s adding new features for our customers.”
Anton’s has about 24 drivers currently, after hiring more drivers back in September. Smith said Anton’s offers a local touch that Uber and Lyft can’t provide. He said if customers have an issue with a driver or forget something in the back of a vehicle, there’s someone you can call immediately and talk to.
“It’s more a local feel, but the same technology,” he said.
Earlier this month, Uber Dayton and Lyft reached an agreement with Dayton International Airport to allow drivers to wait for trip requests at the airport. The companies were required to sign a “transportation network operating permit,” which is regulated by the state. The airport also has its own permits for taxis and ride-sharing services.
But taxi drivers have said the ride-sharing services are killing business for drivers who can’t keep up with low ride rates.
Lyft just entered the Dayton market in early December, and the company advertised it was looking for drivers. Uber first appeared in Dayton back in August 2014.