Yellow Cab of Colorado Springs announced Monday it will change its name to zTrip on Thursday as part of new strategy to combine smartphone hailing with its traditional taxi service to better compete with app-based riding sharing services Uber and Lyft.

Transdev On Demand, parent company of Yellow Cab of Colorado Springs, started using the zTrip name in 2012 and has adopted the new brand in all but two of the 18 U.S. cities where it operates, including Boulder in January 2016 and Fort Collins in June 2016. Yellow Cab of Denver, which is operated by Metro Taxi, also uses the zTrip app.

"zTrip is the new face of the taxi industry," said Vanessa Keim, director of marketing for zTrip of Colorado Springs. "It is the best of both worlds. You can use an app to hail a ride, but you can still hail a cab on the street or call or go online to book a trip and we still provide wheelchair-accessible service."

About 90 percent of Yellow Cab's 145-vehicle fleet has been repainted with the zTrip logo; the rest of the vehicles will be retired by year's end and thus will not be repainted, Keim said. The company also expects to receive 15 new vehicles later this week with the zTrip logo and colors, she said.

The company will host a celebration from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday at Weidner Field, 6303 Barnes Road, home of the Colorado Springs Switchbacks soccer club, that will include free entertainment, beer from Pikes Peak Brewery, food trucks, face painting and a fundraising benefit for Jason and Janelle Graham, family members of a zTrip driver whose Houston home was destroyed last month by Hurricane Harvey.

The zTrip application allows users to book and cancel a trip, choose the type of vehicle they want to pick them up, get a rate quote upfront that does not include surge pricing used by other providers for peak demand periods, choose the payment form, get text message updates and track their driver until arrival, rate the driver and get customer support. The company said all of its drivers are licensed and work full time, are fully insured and have completed background checks.

"Unlike our competitors, we aren't fighting background checks, we are embracing them," zTrip President Bill George said in a news release on the name change. "We are committed to providing our drivers with the best working environment in the on-demand transportation sector."

The company was founded by The Broadmoor hotel in 1927 to serve its guests and was acquired in 2012 by what its now Transdev On Demand. Springs Cab began serving the Colorado Springs area in 2011 and both Uber and Lyft expanded to Colorado Springs in 2014. Teller Cab serves the Ute Pass area, including Woodland Park.

-

Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

Facebook Wayne Heilman

Load comments