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Driving a taxi in the age of Uber and Lyft often means tough competition. Consumers want the most convenient transportation option possible and for many, that means being able to request rides and pay through their phone. With the Curb Driver app, you can give your taxi service the modern update it needs to stay current and thrive.
Originally launched as Taxi Magic in 2007, Curb is now a full-fledged taxi technology company that provides more than fleet management software and payment hardware (though it provides these, too). Today, Curb makes it easy for taxi drivers to get requests and earn — with or without a fleet.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to the Curb Driver app and how you can become a Curb driver today.
- What Is the Curb Driver App?
- How Much Do Curb Drivers Make?
- Curb Driver Requirements
- How to Sign Up for the Curb Driver App
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Curb Driver App?
Curb Driver is a smartphone app that matches taxi drivers with passengers, without the need for a dedicated dispatch system. Just like the Uber Driver app, this taxi driver app allows you to receive, accept, and complete trips just by using your smartphone.
As soon as a nearby rider submits a trip request through their customer-facing Curb taxi app, you will get a notification with pick-up and drop-off details. If the details sound good to you, you can accept with a tap.
Once your trip is over, you will just need to tap “Trip Complete.” Your passenger will get the convenience of paying and tipping with their credit card, debit card, or PayPal account and you’ll get funds directly in your bank account or debit card.
Curb even offers drivers a chance to get pre-assigned routes in some markets, if scheduled rides are available.
How Much Do Curb Drivers Make?
Your pay will always be calculated based on your city’s taxi rates — which may be impacted by time and distance traveled — though Curb will take a percentage of your fares.
While Curb isn’t super transparent about commission fees to the public, taxi apps tend to charge drivers lower commission rates than rideshare apps. For example, Curb competitor Arro only charges a flat 8% commission in the UK, while Curb competitor Gett, even with a recent increase, charges 20% — which still falls under Uber’s 25%.
Keep in mind that you still need to pay your fleet commissions if you’re not driving independently.
Even with commission, you can greatly increase your hourly earnings by getting back-to-back Curb trips in busy areas during times of high demand. Curb states that it’s always busy between 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. in New York City, though you won’t have a real-time heat map to figure out where most requests are coming from, like you would with Uber or Lyft. Knowing where to go mostly comes with experience.
Curb currently includes tips in your fares, though riders are welcome to tip more if desired — which means you could get better tips than you would driving without Curb.
Curb will charge you $5 if you’re ever a no-show to accepted trips, but on a positive note, you will get $5 if your passenger is a no-show (or cancels). Tolls are automatically added, though Curb will not pay for cleaning fees if customers leave a mess in your taxi.
Curb Driver Requirements
Before you start driving for Curb, you do need to be a professional driver. Curb drivers must:
- Have a valid hack license (sometimes called a taxi license or medallion)
- Have a vehicle with valid taxi or hack plates
- Complete Curb driver training
- Complete drug testing
Once in a while, you may be called into Curb’s offices for random drug tests while you’re online.
The exact requirements for receiving a taxi license vary between cities, but typically, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s license, pass a criminal background check and driving history check, and pay a fee. In some markets, you’ll also need to pass a health screening, get fingerprinted, and take some tests.
If you’ll be driving independently, you’ll also need to purchase your own taxi insurance. If you want to join a fleet, you can email Driver_Support@gocurb.com to get connected and apply.
How to Sign Up for the Curb Driver App
If you meet the basic requirements and are interested in driving independently, the first step to becoming a Curb driver is to download Curb Driver on your Android or iPhone. Then, open the app and select the “Sign Up” tab.
Enter your email address and password, then tap “SIGN UP” at the bottom of your screen, accepting the terms and conditions as you do so.
You should then receive an email from Curb. Open it up and tap the verification link.
Return to the Curb app and tap on the login button. You’ll be asked to submit your contact information, including your first name, last name, and phone number. On the next page, enter the confirmation code you receive via text to verify your phone number.
Then, choose your geographic region.
Tap “Taxi” as your service type to proceed. Then, enter your mailing address, add a profile photo, and tap “Confirm.”
You’ll then need to add a driver’s license photo, state, and number, as well as your taxi license photo and number. Tap “Confirm.”
Enter the requested vehicle information, which includes a vehicle image, your VIN color, and license plate number. Tap “Confirm.”
Choose your preferred payment method (debit card or bank account) and add your payment details.
Review your submitted information and tap “Done.” The Curb team will reach out to you soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Curb makes it easier for cab drivers to compete with Uber and become a top choice for tech savvy consumers. Read these FAQs for more insight into how the Curb Driver app works.
1. Where can I use the Curb Driver app?
While Curb does operate in 30 cities across the United States, the Curb Driver app is currently only available for drivers in Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. to sign up. If you’re located in New York City, you must be part of a participating fleet. No independent NYC taxi drivers can sign up for the driver app.
If you’re located in any other city, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about how you can use Curb technology or get updates about when you can sign up.
2. Will my fares increase during times of high demand?
Though your fares will likely increase during high-demand times, it won’t be directly due to demand. It will primarily be due to traffic, which impacts your time traveled. In contrast, rideshare apps use surge pricing, which actually multiplies fares due to real-time demand.
While this may mean that Uber and Lyft drivers make more money during particularly busy occasions, like festivals or the day before Thanksgiving at the airport, Curb may actually become a preferred mode of transportation when surge pricing drives prices up well beyond what consumers are willing to pay.
3. Can I drive for Curb and Uber Taxi at the same time?
If you’re located in a city that offers Curb and Uber Taxi — Uber’s Curb-style service — there are no stated rules against driving for both platforms. However, Curb does place five-hour penalties on taxi drivers who cancel on riders in an effort to improve the user experience, so you’ll want to be very cautious if you’re ever switching between the two platforms.
Uber has no such penalties for a single cancellation, though you can get flagged if you’re frequently cancelling trips.
Earn More in Your Taxi Career
With new taxi technologies like the Curb Driver app on the rise, cab drivers no longer have to worry that they’re in an outdated career. Using this platform, you can receive requests on your smartphone and get paid digitally. Professional drivers are still in demand, so completing Curb’s easy account setup process is a great way to maximize your earnings.
Interested in using Curb for yourself? Make sure to grab a Curb promo code to save big on your next taxi ride.