In Boston and San Francisco, eight-year-old eco-livery service PlanetTran--funded by, among others, Tjan, CEO and managing partner of Boston VC firm Cue Ball--attracts customers with its fleet of Wi-Fi-ready hybrids, easy online booking, and customized services (they'll send you drivers you rate favorably, for example). For most of its life, the company existed in moderate harmony with city-run cab services. But then PlanetTran began to hype new technologies, including Tweet-a-Ride, which lets clients tweet their location, destination, and pickup time for instant service. Not far off, according to president Lori van Dam: the ability to sync your PlanetTran account with your digital calendar and Facebook; it'll adjust your pickup time if it knows you're running late or organize ride shares if it finds out that you and the PlanetTran user down the street both have Monday-morning flights.
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