NYC's Taxi and Limousine Commission Approve Taxi App Pilot Program
In many metropolitan areas, when tech savvy travelers want to hail a taxi or a limo, they usually use an app like TaxiMagic
(both of which are free). With the tap of a few buttons, users can “e-hail” a nearby driver and be on the way to their destination. On the other hand, New York City has several rules about which specific types of cars are able to respond to street hails (yellow cabs) and which are summoned by pre-arrangement or reservation (limos, livery and car services). The idea of apps helping with e-hailing isn’t one that everyone agrees to.
Car service and livery operators are actually among the few that aren’t happy with the idea of apps being used to summon yellow cabs. They went as far as writing to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) to call for the use of the apps to be rejected. The commission recently put to a vote whether they would allow a one-year pilot program where the apps will be evaluated in a “measured way.” In certain cities such as San Francisco, the apps are currently widely used and very popular with the smartphone-toting passengers. In Australia, the taxi authority warned about rogue apps that funnel passengers to drivers without taxi licenses. In places such as London, valid apps require drivers to provide taxi license info before being allowed to use the service, which are very popular among both the consumers and the drivers.
According to David Yassky, the chairman of the TLC, “[taxi]-hailing apps will be useful to customers, but [there’s] a lot we don’t know about how they will work in practice and what impact there will be on other parts of industry.” Although it isn’t yet known how said apps may impact the industry directly and indirectly as a whole, users will be able to benefit right away. Whether New Yorkers like it or not, the pilot program has been approved so many of you should be able to “e-hail” cabbies pretty soon.
Source: The New York Times
, The Verge