UPDATE (September 2015): Revised walk-through tutorial video on ZONES now available in the member section »
Great! You may say – Finally a means to add fixed pricing to TaxiMap, but is it a step too far we ask ourselves….?
Making it this easy to provide fixed price journeys may mean the price per mile model becomes neglected, misused, and misunderstood, but it is a vitally important part of the system as it takes care of all those other journeys.
Let’s consider both fixed and flexible price calculations beginning with the new TaxiMap Zone to Zone pricing feature….
How Zone to Zone pricing works
Previously, zones only permitted the price per mile of a taxi journey to be adjusted when a stop on that journey falls in that zone. (TaxiMap zones are geographic regions drawn on the map.) This works well for busy or congested or distant areas where standard pricing might not apply. However, it doesn’t account very well for discounted and/or return journeys, such as airport transfers, and journey prices are still calculated based on the overall distance.
Zone to Zone pricing takes advantage of pre-exisitng zones already identified by mini cab companies through the TaxiMap user interface. It detects when a customer journey starts within one zone and ends somewhere in another with no other stops. If these criteria are met, it can then check to see if there is a dedicated fixed price for this journey. Dedicated Zone to Zone prices are allocated by users in their TaxiMap profile.
Route agnostic: Zone to zone prices are route agnostic so, whilst different routes may be plotted on the map, the price won’t vary.
Price per mile: A reminder…
Using a price per mile model is TaxiMap’s primary function. Pricing this way makes much more sense for modern online interaction with customers. It also requires (overall) much less work from minicab/taxi companies to set up – since only one value needs to be provided (the price per mile) which applies to any journey.
There are a whole host of other advantages to the PPM model and you can read more about these in previous blog posts, but let’s get back to the point of this article:
The Zone to Zone feature is great, but it shouldn’t be considered a replacement….
Ideal TaxiMap SetUp for Price Calculations
Customers are most satisfied when they are presented with accurate and competitive pricing for any journey, and TaxiMap provides the means to do this in an innovative and intuitive way.
To achieve this, we recommend the following configuration steps:
- Considered first should be a journey from one arbitrary location to another, and how that should be priced. Configuring price per mile (PPM) settings will provide a means to calculate most random journeys.
- Next, journeys where standard pricing cannot be applied should be considered. For example, a trip to a congested area or beyond usual range. In this case, Zones can be defined that alter the price per mile (either applying an increase or a discount). Only a few zones need be defined since the standard PPM should apply to the majority of journeys within the normal operational area.
- Lastly, for very common journeys, typically over a fixed distance – such as airport transfers – fixed prices can be defined between zones. (This may mean that PPM for home zones -i.e. the main operational area- needs to mimic the primary system settings since Zone PPM settings will be applied to other journeys.)
From this we can see that TaxiMap price calculations are always built from a foundation of a single price per mile value, and this is why it is absolutely vital that this setting is not ignored.