Q. TaxiMap already offers simple price per mile calculation, dedicated zone pricing and zone-based fixed-pricing, so with all these options, why would discounts be of use?
A. Put simply, there was no easy way of lowering prices for longer taxi journeys.
In detail, however, we found that some taxi companies were constructing a high number of zones and altering the price per mile to cover longer journeys, and even then, the calculation was not always accurate and made configuration clunky. We also wanted to cover journeys that may be lengthy but remain within one area – consider moving around many stops in one city as opposed to moving in a straight line from city to city… So we have implemented a discounting scheme which offers a high degree of flexibility:
We wanted to provide a method for cab companies to control discounts simply. To do this we considered 4 variables:
- The minimum taxi journey distance at which to apply a discount,
- the discount to apply at this distance,
- the maximum discount,
- and the distance beyond which this discount would apply…
These 4 values are all we require from cab companies to work out discounts – we calculate a discount amount for any distance. Journeys greater than the minimum and less than the maximum distance will have the amount of discount calculated on the fly in proportion to the distance, as the line as the TaxiMap Distance vs Distance image above illustrates.
Of course, if no variation is required, entering the same min and max discount and distance will create the effect of a fixed discount.
Vehicle Discount Options
If taxi companies manage vehicle types in detail through the TaxiMap Drivers/Cars management page, an option allows them to set whether or not the discount applies. As yet, there is no means to apply different discounts to different vehicle types, but this could be implemented in future (although we’d have to see some demand for it for concern of over-complicating the system!)
Discounts are only applied where no other settings would override. For example, where zone discounts or fixed-pricing would apply.
The discount pricing system is already in place in the TaxiMap website plugin ready for all members to use. When a discount is applied to the calculated taxi journey price, the discount percentage is shown below the price itself.