Goto started as an idea over a chat between its co-founders Ben Lewis and Robbie Andrews, about Jersey and how due to our size and location, there’s a general problem of having to wait a a few years to be able to use a new service/technology/product. After a while, the conversation ended up on the topic of companies like Uber and how that although the public has constantly stated that they want something like that in Jersey, when you crunch the numbers it’s obvious that someone like Uber wouldn’t bother with Jersey. The market is just too small to justify the cost of setting up here. And this issue can be pointed out time and time again. But Jersey doesn’t really want Uber. It wants it’s features.
Jersey has a very high percentage of smartphone ownership, fantastic internet speeds and coverage and people have become used to accessing services like Netflix and iPlayer, or using Amazon for their shopping. As soon as someone gets used to a better way of doing something it’s really hard for them to go back to the old way.
This brings us back to the concept behind Goto. For people that have used modern taxi or ridesharing apps in London or other cities, it’s very frustrating to arrive somewhere and not be able use a similar service. It’s becoming an almost must-have for a modern society and produces many benefits, not just being able to easily get from A to B, but clearly reassures people that services are available, reduces the need for more parking spaces and optimises everyone’s time. There hasn’t really been an islandwide solution that’s available for anyone to use, from both the passenger and driver’s points of view.
And so Goto was born. Its goal was to provide all of the experience of the cutting edge ridesharing apps with all of the expected features, but work with local taxi companies and registered drivers. This service has been designed to allow these drivers to be able to offer all of these features with no setup fee or ongoing cost to themselves (unlike a lot of the other options on the market) whilst giving the passengers a single app that gives them access to all active drivers. So no more ringing around various companies to see who’s available or standing in queues outside at the public ranks. One very important feature that is missing from every other local taxi app is the fact in-app card payments are set by default. A passenger gets out at their destination and the payment is automatically completed, without having to get out a wallet or purse. Goto processes the card payment directly and takes 5% of the fare to cover this charge and ongoing development, with the rest going directly to the driver. The complete ride history is logged on their account and any issue such as lost items or reporting problems can easily be done via the in-app support chat.
Both Ben and Robbie are Jersey-born and between them have over 20 years experience in the local digital industry. They’ve have long history of working in the technology space, building software projects and solutions for a vast number of clients both on and off island. As well as being part of a number of local industry workgroups, they also are responsible for running Jersey’s largest online tech forum as well as a number of industry events, talks and hackathons. Once they’ve launched in Jersey they’re focusing on a number of other small jurisdictions that have this similar problem, building on a successful pilot in Jersey to quickly be able to build out an entire network of Goto-enabled taxi drivers.