A New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission vote on Dec. 13 gave the green light to taxi-hailing apps in a pilot program.
-------Update on 12/14/2012 at 7:10 a.m.-------
On Dec. 13, New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a year-long pilot program that will allow riders to "e-hail" yellow cabs, the Huffington Post reported. Starting Feb. 15, 2013, and running for a year, startups such as GetTaxi, Hailo and Uber can legally operate apps on a test basis that lets passengers use their smartphones to hail cab rides electronically.
After the pilot begins, the commission will produce quarterly reports on its success, which will lead to a decision on whether to extend it.
-------Original story posted on 12/13/2012-------
Following taxi-hailing app company Uber's unsuccessful foray into New York City, they may be allowed a second chance. The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) announced that board members would consider a pilot program for allowing taxi-hailing smartphone apps. The panel is scheduled to vote on Dec. 13, and while Mayor Bloomberg's office issued a tweet supporting the legal use of such apps, some panel members voiced skepticism, The New York Times reported.
But TLC Chairman David S. Yassky said he was willing to give the apps a chance. “Bringing apps into New York would be a change in the way people get taxis,” Yassky said. “It makes sense to see how that pans out and see if any of the supposed problems with that materialize before you make it permanent.” Yassky said the commission discussed restricting the geographic range of the app, only allowing New Yorkers to hail nearby taxis.
Board members like Nora C. Marino challenged the app's use, saying it violated long-held taxi-hailing regulations. “You can’t just pull the rug out from them and say: ‘Guess what? We’re changing the structure,’” Marino said to the Times. Some New York City officials have expressed concern that the current anti-app policy may negatively effect the city's tech-friendly image.
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