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

Ride or Die

And Another Innovation Bites the Dust: Uber Shuts Down Taxi Service In NYC

Uber taxi ride

Earlier today, The Verge published a pretty damning report alleging that Uber was essentially shutting down its taxi service in New York City. The worst allegations involved the claim that multiple drivers received messages calling them into headquarters to get paid a cash bonus, only when the cabbies got there, “Uber surprised them by asking for the device back, informing them that taxi service was no longer available in New York.” Another driver told the Verge that Uber offered $1,000 to sign up for its black car service instead. (As earlier screenshots obtained by Betabeat show, Uber has offered cash rewards to drivers in the past.)

Not long after, Uber admitted on its blog that UberTAXI has shut down operations in New York “for now,” emphasizing that no changes have been made to its black car service. With yesterday’s news of Square shutting down its pilot program in New York City, this is the second setback of sorts as technological advances to the taxi-riding experience try to make their way into the market. Square also promised it would try again soon–but unlike Uber, its program had official approval.

“We invested a fair amount of money in the UberTAXI in New York after initially getting a verbal greenlight from the TLC,” CEO Travis Kalanick told Betabeat of the amount Uber spent on its month-long test run, which involved a week of free rides to every New Yorker at $25/piece–for those who actually managed to find a cab on the app. Read More

Ride or Die

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

It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It

Return of Laptop Lost in Taxi Foiled By Facebook’s Obscure Message Folder

via Wikimedia

Betabeat has been bearish on Facebook’s Messages policy ever since they started turning off email alerts notifying you when you get a message, friend request, or wall post. Sure, you can restore your original notification settings, but why let users customize it in the first place if you’re just gonna undo them at will? Also, what happens if you’re not a tech news junkie and had no idea you had to check that little blue bubble icon to see what you missed?

Lately, we’ve also started noticing that messages take a hella long time to load. So not only is Zuck forcing us to spend more time on Facebook, but we have to wait around once we get there.

Let’s leave our petty complaints aside, for a moment, however, to address someone who actually got screwed over, albeit temporarily. Read More