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  • Taxi Cab Hailing App Approved by City of New York


    Hailing for taxis with your hand has finally come to an end as app vendor Uber Technologies Inc. is providing predictable and quick service with a tap of a button. New York officials finally approved Uber recently, allowing the company to be the first taxi-hailing app to operate in New York City. During the 12-month pilot program, the popular service is approved to provide e-hailing service.

    Although Uber has been approved, unlike other cities, New York’s Uber service does not provide payments to taxi drivers in the app; customers have to directly pay the drivers. Uber has other classes of service including livery cars, SUVs and ‘black cars’ and they all have integrated payments within the app. Taxi and limousine commissioner David Yassky gave a statement announcing the approval of Uber recently:

    Thanks to the NYS Supreme Court's ruling this week, we will be able to see e-hail services made available to the riding public through a one-year pilot program that officially begins today. The first provider to be approved is Uber Technologies, Inc. There are several other companies in various stages of our approval process with others sure to join them, and we are excited about the prospect of seeing the universe of choices expand. The passengers have spoken and the Bloomberg administration listened...people want the opportunity to decide whether new technology can improve their taxi experience, and today, that option is available to them.

    It’s been a long process and battle for Uber and other e-hailing apps like Hailo, Flywheel, GetTaxi, etc. But fortunately for Uber, they are the first and only e-hail app approved to operate in New York City. We’ll have to wait and see how the app turns out for the city residents but from personal experience, it should provide a much needed improvement for what is otherwise a very outdated system.

    Source: New York City (official site)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Taxi Cab Hailing App Approved by City of New York started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. alanjf's Avatar
      alanjf -
      Ok, am I missing something here? You can call a taxi service on the phone and that's ok, but doing it with a computer program (that is, electronically) suddenly requires special hoops to be leapt through? Is it just because of paying directly through the app? Why would that even matter, especially when you consider how many things are paid for electronically these days? As long as the cab driver is being paid, what does it matter to the city and why is it even their concern in the first place? Is this not just another example of government being way too involved in business matters?
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Uber Technologies is one lucky company to get that 12 month deal, especially if the program takes off! I wonder if prank e-hailing will be a problem at all?...
    1. bologna's Avatar
      bologna -
      Quote Originally Posted by alanjf View Post
      Ok, am I missing something here?
      You must not be a New Yorker. Yellow taxis, all 13,000 of them, cannot be called, only hailed from the street. Allowing people to electronically hail taxis that were never able to be called even via telephone is a logistical nightmare in a city of 8.5 million and a metro area of over 20 million. On top of that, the number of taxis are restricted by a government-controlled medallion system, which has powerful lobbyists who keep a stranglehold on the laws in order to keep the valuations artificially high for the limited number of taxi medallions.

      Even if somehow those issues weren't factors, I can just imagine the arguing where someone hails a cab through the app from the shower inside of his apartment, and a cab pulls up to the curb to catch him running down stairs, but there's a person who's been standing in the rain for 10 minutes trying to hail a cab. I predict fist fights.
    1. znbl's Avatar
      znbl -
      Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
      You must not be a New Yorker. Yellow taxis, all 13,000 of them, cannot be called, only hailed from the street.
      I used to live in NY and had called taxi cabs by phone on many occasions, so I'm not sure why you're saying this isn't possible. Government really should be this involved with services like this. Taxi services were once just simple private entities before they stepped in and instituted medallions and such, and now they want to regulate what we use to hail a cab. And it's not a problem to assign priority accordingly (such as putting those hailing on the street before those who do it electronically) so that's not really an excuse.
    1. bologna's Avatar
      bologna -
      Quote Originally Posted by znbl View Post
      I used to live in NY and had called taxi cabs by phone on many occasions, so I'm not sure why you're saying this isn't possible.
      You are mistaken. You can't call a yellow medallion cab (yellow Ford Crown Victoria). There aren't even phone numbers on the cabs.

      The taxi cabs you called weren't Medallion cabs. The taxis you called (a.k.a. "car service") were LIVERY cabs (typically black Lincoln Town Cars). They have small phone numbers on a sticker on the side or rear window.

      I was talking about the YELLOW taxis, the ones with MEDALLIONS all over MANHATTAN that you can HAIL from the curb. Black livery cabs in the outer boroughs can *only* be called, they can't legally be hailed from the curb (they do it anyway but not in front of a cop). Medallions have been around for the past 80 years, and they are the only type of cab you can hail from the street legally.

      (PS: I'm a New Yorker and I'm looking out the window and I see one.... two.... three.... four.... yellow cabs. Not a single phone number. Never heard of calling a yellow cab, ever.)
    1. znbl's Avatar
      znbl -
      Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
      You are mistaken. You can't call a yellow medallion cab (yellow Ford Crown Victoria). There aren't even phone numbers on the cabs.

      The taxi cabs you called weren't Medallion cabs. The taxis you called (a.k.a. "car service") were LIVERY cabs (typically black Lincoln Town Cars). They have small phone numbers on a sticker on the side or rear window.

      I was talking about the YELLOW taxis, the ones with MEDALLIONS all over MANHATTAN that you can HAIL from the curb. Black livery cabs in the outer boroughs can *only* be called, they can't legally be hailed from the curb (they do it anyway but not in front of a cop). Medallions have been around for the past 80 years, and they are the only type of cab you can hail from the street legally.

      (PS: I'm a New Yorker and I'm looking out the window and I see one.... two.... three.... four.... yellow cabs. Not a single phone number. Never heard of calling a yellow cab, ever.)
      Some good points on the different type of Taxi services. Thank you. Although I think it's worth pointing out that Uber isn't limited to one type or another afaik, so I don't understand why Uber would have been a problem at all for the livery type. For that matter, I'm wondering if the reports about apps like this being used to hail medallion type cabs are accurate, and that it wasn't in fact the livery type instead. It wouldn't be the first time a news article was based off of misinformation.