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.