Developing taximap.co.uk primarily at night and weekends has required a fairly rigid work ethic. My aim has been to complete one update per session from my development list. At the moment our main goal is to produce a useable taxi booking and price estimate system so mini cab companies can start to test the site and, I’m pleased to announce, we’re pretty much there!
As it stands the process works like this:
- Taxi companies can register.
- An administrator must manually validate the registration.
- An email containing a username and password is sent to the registrant.
- The registrant can then log in.
- S/He must then agree to our terms and conditions before he may proceed any further.
- S/He then updates his profile with company details and prices.
- Several lines of code are then created under the CODE tab. These can be cut & pasted to the location on the registrant’s website where TAXIMAP is to appear.
I should mention that the link code will only work if the cab company’s account is ACTIVE. This can only currently be set by the administrator as there is currently no web based admin area.
Recently we’ve been updating the booking system so that it’s usable. When the site went live we have already completed the pricing system, but there was no way to receive a booking after getting a price. The site now provides a wizard-style series of forms that the fare paying customer must complete to make a booking.
The form is both client and server-side validated and directs users back to any incomplete mandatory fields. It asks for details of each stop in the journey and offers 3 payment choices: cash, credit card, or credit account (credit card processing is yet to be integrated – and we may never do so. Rather, preferring the controller take details over the phone during confirmation).
The form together with directions and the coordinates of each leg of the journey is sent via email to the cab company’s registered email address. We’re also now storing this info in a database so we can report on it and companies can use it for future marketing!
The screen shot on the left shows our demo site which we’re using to test integration of the TaxiMap plugin with minicab company web sites. This will feature in our upcoming instruction video and guide….
Upcoming Taximap Updates
In the coming days we hope to create and publish both a video and text based instructions on how integrate the TaxiMap booking system with company websites. We will also look to enable some of the more advanced pricing controls and streamline the code so the service runs even quicker.
All in all, we’ve made quite a bit of progress and we’re really keen to get companies using the system so we can make it even better…
We’ll keep posting mini-updates via Twitter or you can follow along here.
Thanks for reading. See you next time!