Go Fast Cab brings text message taxi requests to Chicago

Go Fast Cab, a company that hopes to change the way you hail a taxi, is now offering service in Chicago. Rather than standing out on the street in the cold or rain, waiting impatiently for the sight of a taxi with an illuminated “available” light, all you have to do is text and a cab will arrive at your door.

Here’s how it works. You text your address to 777222 (777CAB) and the request is dispatched from Go Fast Cab to a local taxi company, who sends the next available car off to your location. Of course, that’s where the system has the potential to break down. At high volume times, you could be waiting a while (though you can text with the word STATUS for an update). You might wait just as long outside on the street-corner, but then at least you get to feel like you are doing something. You’ll also have the chance to flag down a cab from another company, whereas with Go Fast Cab, you’re pinning all your hopes on one dispatcher.

Still, on bad-weather days or for trips to the airport when I’m laden with bags, the idea of a cab showing up at my house, without me having to call and deal with cranky operators or endless holds, does sound nice. If you’re not in Chicago, you can still use the service too. The company, which started with San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County, has plans to expand Go Fast Cab to San Jose, Phoenix, Nashville and Charlotte.