The legislation would require the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission to establish a universal e-hail app to let riders order from a single app any for-hire vehicle — including taxis and cars that drive for Uber.
(TNS) — New York City’s ailing taxicab industry may get a boost if a proposed bill gets a green light from the
The legislation would require the city’s
Introduced by Councilman
But with e-hail companies like
A small fraction of yellow taxi trips are completed via apps, and Kallos said technology has matured enough in the last six years to make a universal e-hail app feasible.
“When I raise my hand on the street, I don’t care what yellow cab company stops for me. I just want a cab,” said Kallos. “People should be able to raise their hand digitally and get a response from anyone... And every driver could compete regardless of what company they drive for. It gives drives a way to cut out the middle man of
The proposed legislation would establish a city-run API, or an open software language, to let other vendors build apps that hail taxis and other for-hire vehicles. The tech would also allow yellow and green taxis to be hailed through Uber’s app, Kallos said.
Cabbies who own taxi medallions that give them the exclusive right to street hails in the city’s busiest areas have for years called for relief.
Yellow taxi medallions sold for more than $1 million in 2012, but their value has fallen to less than $250,000 since
Desai said the universal app “is clearly needed,” but isn’t a substitute for debt forgiveness.
“What the yellow cab and green cab sectors can do at this point is have exclusive street hail rights, and use the e-hail app as a supplement to that,” said Desai. “But I can’t emphasize enough that unless debt forgiveness is addressed and prioritized first and foremost, nothing else will matter.”
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