NYC Disrupts Disruptors

Schneiderman Issues Cease and Desist 24 Hours Before Lyft’s NYC Launch

Disruptors

Lyft, the e-hailing service prompting ride sharing, was set to launch this evening despite major pressure from the Taxi and Limousine Commission and Department of Financial Services. However, their future in the city is now even more uncertain. Lyft is the least expensive of the e-hailing taxi services, even undercutting UberX’s recently lowered prices. The service is known for the giant pink mustaches they put on their drivers cars and launched in San Francisco two years ago. Read More

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Cab Fight! New York City Vendor Sued for Breach of Taxi Technology Agreement

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With all the excitement over last week’s decision to test out taxi apps in New York City, another technological step forward got overlooked. During a meeting at its Beaver Street headquarters last Thursday, the Taxi and Limousine Commission also unanimously voted in favor of new rules for those credit card swipers and “entertainment systems” (scare quotes necessary) in back of your cab, referred to as T-PEP. Read More

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Mayor Bloomberg on Taxi Apps: ‘There Is a Group of Cab Owners That Are Opposed to Anything’

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This morning, on his weekly Friday radio show with John Gambling, Mayor Bloomberg discussed the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s vote in favor of a year-long pilot program to test out e-hailing apps, which let riders flag down a cab with their smartphone.

As we noted yesterday, the pilot was a last-minute compromise when it seemed like lobbying from black car and livery car incumbents would prohibit the passage of permanent rules to open up the taxi market to any app with a license. (Black cars and liveries worry that the ability to “pre-arrange” taxi rides with an an app will hurt their business.)   Read More

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After Fears That TLC Would Kill Taxi Apps, E-Hailing Gets a Pilot Program

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In a packed meeting at the Taxi and Limousine Commission headquarters this morning, commissioners voted 7-0 in favor of adopting a year-long pilot program to test out e-hailing apps that let riders flag down yellow cabs from their smartphone. The pilot won’t commence until February. After reviewing data from the test run, the TLC will assess whether to make it permanent. The more limited pilot program is an abrupt change from an earlier proposal by TLC chairman David Yassky: to vote on e-hailing rules that would have opened New York’s taxi market up to any app that met guidelines and secured a license. Read More

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Uber Sued for Consumer Fraud and Unlawful Practices by Chicago Taxi and Limo Companies

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A number of Chicago taxi and limousine companies filed a lawsuit (below) today against Uber, the request-a-ride company that lets you e-hail and pay for a car with your smartphone.

In April, the San Francisco startup expanded its service in Chicago from black cars to include taxis as well. (Uber’s recent attempt to expand from black cars to yellow taxis in New York City were swatted down last month by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.)

Although Uber’s brash tactics and outspoken CEO, Travis Kalanick, have rankled city governments and competitors–the complaint even features a screengrab of a contentious tweet from Mr. Kalanick and references his open criticism of “of any regulation in general”–this marks the first time a taxi or limousine company has filed a suit against Uber. Read More

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While Talks with the TLC Stall Out, Uber Partners With HBO to Give New Yorkers a Free Ride in a Vintage Whip

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Uber will not go gently into that good night. The request-a-ride app raged against New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission last week for putting a stop to its rogue mission to let New Yorkers hail and pay for a yellow cab with a few taps of their smartphone. Uber already offers the services for black cars and hybrid cars, but at a hefty premium.

To keep the company top of mind for New Yorkers, Uber is partnering with HBO today and tomorrow to promote the premiere of the third season of “Boardwalk Empire” this Sunday. The startup will be offering free rides in a fleet of vintage vehicles from the Roaring 20’s on September 13th and 14th. The offer is only available 11am to 6pm and only for up to three people travelling between Midtown and Soho in Manhattan.  Read More

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Taxi & Limousine Commission Tells Uber It Can’t Legally Operate a Taxi App In NYC, Uber CEO Disagrees

(Photo: Wikimedia)

“We got a love letter from the TLC,” Uber CEO Travis Kalanick just told Betabeat over the phone. He was referring, sarcastically, to a statement issued today by the Taxi and Limousine Commission to “remind” medallion yellow cab drivers and owners that the TLC “has NOT authorized any electronic hailing or payment applications (‘apps’) for Read More

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Uber Wants Its Yellow Cab App to Cost Riders the Meter Plus a 20 Percent Tip

Black hole. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Yesterday, we broke the news that Uber, the San Francisco-based request-a-ride service, was close to launching an app in New York City to let you digitally hail and pay for a yellow cab with your smartphone. The launch was planned for today, but hit a road block in discussions with the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC)–prompting CEO Travis Kalanick to offer free taxi rides for New Yorkers for a week while they sorted it out.

This morning, we spoke to Mr. Kalanick, as well as Uber NYC’s general manager Josh Mohrer by phone. Both offered more detail regarding what Uber’s taxi app might cost riders and drivers, why the launch was delayed (cough Verifone cough), and why they rushed into the market (hint: it concerns a different kind of British invasion).  Read More

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Uber Is Offering a Free Taxi Ride to Every New Yorker to Promote Its Yellow Cab App

Contents: one cupcake. (Photo: Wikimedia)

Update 9/6/2012: The TLC just issued a statement reminding drivers they are not authorized to use digitally hailing or payment apps. Uber CEO says, “We believe we are totally legal.”

Check out our interview with Uber about its plans for taxi service New York City.

Earlier this afternoon, Betabeat broke the news that Uber planned on launching a request-a-ride app for yellow cabs in New York City that would let riders digitally hail and pay for taxis with their smartphones. The company already offers a similar service here for private black sedans and SUVs.

However, Uber’s plan ran into some delays as the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission tried to make sure that it complied with city rules and payments regulations. Read More