When the Pokémon Go craze hit last month, two members of the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association were quick to take the trend head on.
Airport Express, an airport transportation company out of Oklahoma City, along with Black and White Cabs of Norfolk and its sister company, Yellow Cab of Norfolk, offered services specifically to cater to crowds hypnotized by the game.
Pokémon Go, an augmented reality smartphone app, exploded in popularity in July. Apple officials said it broke the app store record for most downloads in a week. The game, when open on a player’s phone, uses the camera and GPS to make it seem as if Pokémon are appearing in a person’s actual surroundings. In order to catch the Pokémon, users have to “hunt” the Pokémon, which often translates to Pokémon-enthusiasts trekking around a city to catch them all.
In Norfolk, the companies launched a special cab service for an hourly cost where taxis drove customers to let riders “catch” Pokémon.
Airport Express used its executive buses to host rides on two separate routes. Riders only needed to purchase a wristband for $5. This bought them a tour on the bus — outfitted with outlets and wifi capabilities to prevent riders’ phones from losing power —along with prizes and other promotions.
The first tours offered by Airport Express had roughly 120 participants. Katie Atwood, the marketing director for Airport Express, plans to start the tours up again once colleges are back in session to bring Pokémon fans back into the action while bringing business to the downtown area.
We applaud these two companies for their creativity and the fun, entrepreneurial spirits they bring to their communities!