New app gives cab location, expected price for ride

Forest Park cab company expands to Naperville, adds medical transport


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Amy Malina

Contributing Reporter

One of Forest Park's oldest companies, Blue Cab, in business for 90 years, has added a 21st century touch by creating a cell phone app that can hail a cab, tell you where it is and let you know how much you'll pay. 

Jim Bennett, manager and son of Blue Cab owner Jerilyn Ugaste, has been working for over a year on a substantial step forward for the Forest Park business: letting customers order and pay for cab rides entirely online.

"It's a huge deal," said Bennett. "We are little more than a week away from having a free app people can use on Apple or Android." The downloadable app is called Blue Cab.

 Blue Cab customers who want to download the app will be able to locate "Blue Cab" in the App Store this week. Bennett is enthusiastic about the app's many features, which is intended to take a lot of waiting and guessing out of the cab-ordering process. 

"We have a programmer who designed certain features specifically for us," said Bennett. "The app will allow you to order a cab – even days in advance. You can see where the nearest empty cabs are, track your route, see the number of the cab and the name of the cabbie." Once a cab has been dispatched, the customer can track it on a map, much like the inflight maps on international airplane flights, removing much of the mystery of, "where can my cab be?"

Customers can also get a price quote so they know how much they can expect to pay.

According to Bennett another advantage of the digital system is "no more waiting on hold" for a dispatcher to answer phone requests. Blue Cab, he said, is part of a group of more than 50 cab companies using the new system. 

Blue Cab, on Roosevelt Road, has been in business in the Chicago area for more than nine decades. Two other changes mark Blue Cab's new direction: Naperville will home to a new Blue Cab fleet, beginning with six licensed cabs to serve a population spread over three counties. The company is also expanding services to include medical transportation, delivering customers to medically-related appointments. 

This article has been updated to give the correct name of the Blue Cab app.

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Rebecca from Forest Park  

Posted: August 6th, 2014 3:25 PM

Nope, I travel a lot of business and will never use Blue Cab to the airports again after too many miserable rides in a row. One that was late and almost made me miss my flight, another who didn't know how to get to MIDWAY (!!!) and got stuck in traffic when he refused to use the directions I gave him. Not to mention the dirtiest, most DISGUSTING, unmaintained cars I've ever been in. I'm done with Blue Cab and warn people away whenever I can.

Brian Kuhr from Forest Park  

Posted: August 6th, 2014 12:33 AM

I use Blue Cab pretty frequently and find them quite reliable. The new app sounds like a great idea; will hafta see how well it works in practice.

jerry from forest park  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 7:46 PM

Well, they left me sitting at the hospital for three hours, haven't used them since.

Cabber from Forest Park  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 4:41 PM

Never had a problem with Blue Cab. They have always showed up on time, or even early.


Posted: August 5th, 2014 3:17 PM

So they have an app that took them a year to develop that does what Uber does already for half the cost. Cabs are a thing of the past.

Michelle W from FP  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 1:37 PM

I dunno... Blue Cab is my go to! Both for planned airport trips and for late night pick ups when I don't feel like schlepping myself on the train. And they have a flat rate to Forest Park, whereas other companies charge way more than for Oak Park, even though we're basically the same trip.

Good Luck with that!  

Posted: August 5th, 2014 1:31 PM

Haha, like an app will actually have a Blue Cab show up. What a joke. Made a reservation, confirmed it and then the morning of........nothing! Called and they said it would be another 30 minutes. Never again. Had another friend use them (to give a local business a chance); he ended up missing his flight and losing a day of his vacation. So what good is an app if the drivers don't show up? And please have them hang up their cell phones while driving! See it all too often w/them.

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