Tipsy Taxi launched new services, beginning Fall quarter, to increase efficiency and passenger-to-mile ratio, officials said.
The launch of Tipsy Taxi’s website, tipsytaxi.ucdavis.edu, offers new ways for passengers to request a ride in advance and to keep phone lines open for students during hours of operation.
“Our goal for these new services is to increase our passenger to mile ratio, while also making [Tipsy Taxi] a more financially and environmentally friendly service,” said Sabastian Belser, director of specialized transportation services and Tipsy Taxi.
The new website offers two new features: chat with an operator, which allows students to use live messaging to request a ride from Tipsy Taxi, and the ability to request a ride in advance service.
“The decision to implement new services at Tipsy Taxi was made in response to feedback that has been received from its riders. A shortcoming of Tipsy Taxi in the past has been the difficulty of getting through to operators during peak hours,” said Matthew Provencher, a senior economics major and ASUCD senator, in an e-mail interview.
Even if all the phone lines are tied up during hours of operation, Tipsy Taxi operators will still be able to provide service to customers with these new features, Belser said.
“With the new website, Tipsy Taxi operators can do over live chat what they would normally do over the phone during business hours,” said Andre Lee, ASUCD senator. “Students can also fill out an online form and can submit that any time of the day and the operator will call at 10 p.m. to confirm the pickup time. This will alleviate much of the phone traffic.”
The first night of the launch of the website was a success. Students used both new services during the hours of operation, Belser said.
There are no fee increases for the newly instated services, Belser said.
In order to improve phone traffic further, Tipsy Taxi is considering queuing phone lines, which would allow students to know what their place in line is on the phone and how long their wait will be, Lee said.
ASUCD is currently looking into launching a mobile version for their website, so students can access the website from their smart phones, Lee said.
“Hopefully, these services will make it easier for students to use Tipsy Taxi and get safely across town,” Provencher said.
In Spring 2011, Tipsy Taxi saw the return of Thursday services. Tipsy Taxi currently runs at half service Thursdays, but if demand continues to rise, there is a chance that it may return to full service, Lee said.
“We are a completely student run organization: we are getting more students home safely. We are also increasing and keeping student jobs while giving them the tools and opportunities to build their resumes,” Belser said.
ALICIA KINDRED can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.