Edinburgh cabbies offer Pokemon Go taxi tour
It is the multi-billion-pound global gaming sensation in which people search real-life places for digital creatures.
And one city firm is cashing in on the craze as it launches the Capital’s very first Pokémon Go Taxi Tour.
Starting today, Central Taxis will help passengers track down the mini-monsters – and cabbies have pledged not to leave the meter running.
The company claims to have discovered a route that will allow gamers to capture at least 50 PokéStops plus other collectibles in about 20 minutes’ journey time as well as enjoying a short tour of the city.
Up to six passengers can join and collect together for a fixed price of £15, with cabbies insisting it is ideal for friends or families looking for something a little different.
The concept was dreamed up by Cameron Herkes, Central’s 18-year-old IT apprentice and resident Pokémon hunter from Musselburgh.
He came up with the idea just two months into the job, and suggested the huge potential of having a taxi driver take players around to track down Pokémon at some of the city’s most popular locations.
“It occurred to me when I was sitting in the office,” Cameron said. “I play the game and catch them while sitting on the bus.
“I thought ‘What if a driver took you through all the ideal spots?’. It’s much safer getting a tour around the city than going off to more secluded areas.
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“A lot of the taxi drivers didn’t play the game but now they think it’s a great idea.”
He added: “We drove around the city centre until we found the route where we could capture the most collectibles and keep the time to around 20 minutes and the fare around £15, which we thought was about right for a bit of fun and to get ahead in the Pokémon game world.”
The concept is expected to prove a big hit with families and young adults that grew up with Pokémon.
Following its investigations, the firm believes the ideal starting point is Waterloo Place, just off Princes Street.
Taxi chiefs will consider expanding the route and dedicating more resources to the tour if they see a surge in bookings.
And even if the fad dies down, the tours are still expected to attract a dedicated fanbase in coming months.
The game has come under fire from health and safety campaigners amid concerns players fail to pay attention to possible hazards around them.
Since the game was launched, teenage boys became stranded 100ft below ground while searching for Pokémon, and a teenager was reportedly shot after breaking into a home to catch one of the virtual animals.
But Central Taxis chairman Tony Kenmuir stressed that the tours would offer a much safer way to play the game.
He said: “Given some of the negative press around the game we wanted to be able to offer a safer option for those wishing to collect, especially families with younger children.
“All our drivers carry ID and have PVG certification so this is a very safe way for kids to collect their Pokémon stuff.”