Smartphone Apps Will Soon Hail NYC Cabs
City taxi commission testing new service
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 13, 2012 5:39 PM CST
File photo of a New York City taxi driver.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – Raising your arm and yelling "taxi!" is the old-fashioned way to nab a New York City cab. Soon, all you'll need is a smartphone app. New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission today approved a pilot program allowing riders to "e-hail" yellow cabs, starting Feb. 15 on a test basis. Until now, the city has banned yellow taxis from prearranging rides. "We should not ignore technology that's out there," said Commissioner David Yassky. "This is not speculative. This is real."

The system will be tried out for one year. After the free apps start linking customers with drivers in mid-February, the commission will produce quarterly reports on the program's success, leading to a decision on whether to extend it. Here's how it works: A potential fare uses the app to request a ride. That request goes out to all participating cabbies within a certain distance, and the cabbie who uses his or her own cellphone to respond first will get the fare.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
Hook
Dec 14, 2012 2:24 AM CST
There have been apps like this in Britain for ages... And they work really well. BUT they don't connect to the cabs directly, they connect to the control center of the cab company, who then radio a car and send it to the GPS location. Maybe that's what this really does?
Marelicia
Dec 14, 2012 1:48 AM CST
"...and the cabbie who uses his or her own cellphone to respond first will get the fare". Huh??? I thought NY had passed anti-cell phone laws many, many years ago, NYC needs this pilot program just like I need a hole in my head. Now, yellow cab drivers are licensed to race each other on the Streets of Manhattan, NY for passengers while talking on their cell phones. This new service is highly dangerous to the people and stupid. What did your Mayor Bloomberg say about this? Just curious. I hope their required Quarterly Reports will show all of the Accidents, Injuries, Deaths, and Lawsuits.
HMD-SMD-ITY
Dec 13, 2012 10:51 PM CST
They need this for New Orleans and Las Vegas. I just hate riding cabs in those cities. For Vegas, you have cabs that can't pick up at certain properties. Thankfully, I did learn which casinos offer free shuttles and limo rides. The Trump/Wynn/Hard Rock are all attached. You can get a free limo ride between those properties. As for nawlens, its not so nice. Like they do in Vegas, the drivers talk on the phone the whole ride. I think they are doing tech support for outsourcing companies in India and S. Africa. They stay on the phone for the whole ride without pause. They simply ask for the fare and don't give a darn about you or your trip. I don't blame them for that but Vegas and NO needs to pass some anti-cellphone laws for taxi drivers. I have no doubt it has resulted in fatality crashes.