Nine months ago we wrote about Taxi Magic, a nifty service that hooks directly into local dispatch systems to let you book cabs from your smart phone. Since then the startup has been doing quite well — it now supports the iPhone, Blackberry, and SMS booking. It’s also grown from supporting 25 fully supported cities to 40. And tonight it’s launching a new feature that exposes it to an even broader audience: a web portal at TaxiMagic.com
The site features a directory for each of the service’s supported taxi providers, with some cities (like San Francisco and Washington, DC) offering multiple options. Once you’ve picked a taxi service, you enter an address and pickup time. At this point you can’t pay for the taxi online, but you can pay from your smartphone or via SMS using through TaxiMagic if you’d rather not deal with cash or hand over your credit card (the service charges a $1.50 fee for this).
Aside from the new website, TaxiMagic has made quite a few changes since we last covered them. As mentioned above, you can now pay for taxis using your TaxiMagic account that’s been linked to a credit card (before you could only book cabs and would have to pay the old fashioned way). And the service now offers support for SMS, which means you can shoot a text from bascially any phone to TaxiMagic with your current address to request a pickup. TaxiMagic will respond with a text message indicating the cab drive’s name and distance.
Finally, the service’s iPhone application has seen quite a few upgrades, including the ability to actually see where your cab currently is as it drives to pick you up.