LibreTaxi Is the Free, Open-Source Alternative to Lyft and Uber

Go where no ride-sharing app has gone before, literally

February 7, 2017 9:00 am

These days, you’re either an Uber person or a Lyft person. Your alliance may change with the passing new cycle. Like, at the time your correspondent is writing this story, for example, who knows?

What we do know: we’re still in elementary school when it comes to ride-sharing services.

The new kid in class? LibreTaxi.

Promoting itself as an alternative to the ubiquitous ride-sharing apps, LibreTaxi differentiates itself by taking no money for using the service, dealing exclusively in cash (but BitCoin’s on the way), allowing price negotiation and being open-source software.

Also, because it’s based in the Telegram messaging app, it is compatible on pretty much any platform: Android, iPhone, iPad, desktop, web, etc.

Knowing Uber deals in the billions (both in profits and losses), a ride-sharing competitor washing itself of potential moola seems suspect. But Roman Pushkin, the one-man coding team behind LibreTaxi, is most concerned with access.

“I made it for a remote area where I was born and found that people around the world like it,” he said in an interview with Bitcoinist. Therein lies the main benefit: in areas where Uber and Lyft have not expanded because there’s no profit to be made, LibreTaxi can flourish, because Pushkin isn’t interested in the service as a business.

“Also, you can never predict what type of taxi you want – boat, helicopter, rickshaw, etc. LibreTaxi is open-sourced under MIT license. People can update it relatively easy or add vehicle types and run Uber-like services for their areas independently,” he said in that same interview. So next time you’re on an adventure abroad, pull up LibreTaxi and maybe you’ll be able to barter some extra socks for a ride in a sidecar.

Great. Can’t wait. Downside? The current technical roadmap raises some concerns, chiefly:

  • Make it safer for passengers and drivers
  • Add drivers/passengers rating
  • Make it easier to use and safer for moms/dads and children
  • Make it easier to use for people with disabilities

Seeing as they reiterate their desire to make the service safer, specifically highlighting “moms/dads and children,” we’re gonna go ahead and sit this first round out. Shoot us a Telegram when we know we’ll make it to the destination.

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