Ride or Die

Court Rules the E-Hail Program Is A-Okay, Again

Whee! (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

It was a big day for the TLC. First, the state Supreme Court Not upheld the city’s five-borough taxi scheme. An appeals court also ruled that the e-hail pilot program can proceed. That means the temporary restraining order put into place when the livery business appealed the dismissal of their suit against the program has been lifted, and you can now e-hail your little heart out.

In a press conference in front of City Hall, an apple-green five-borough taxi parked on the cobblestones behind him, Mayor Bloomberg called the ruling, “another great sign that taxi riders are winning.” He added, “special interests are always afraid of new things.” Read More

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Here We Go Again: Appeals Court Puts the Kibosh on the TLC’s Taxi Apps Pilot Program

Some of NYC's famous orphaned iPhone transport vehicles. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

If this back-and-forth keeps up, we’re all going to get whiplash. Bloomberg News reports that once again, the courts have blocked the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s ehail pilot program, just days after it was given the all-clear. The black car business has appealed the dismissal of its suit against the program, and an appeals court judge has granted a temporary injunction until there’s a decision.

Good thing this broke after the end of TechCrunch Disrupt, or we might have had a disruptors’ riot on our hands.  Read More

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Hailo Launches Taxi App Beta Test; Uber Approved for TLC Pilot Program [UPDATED]

Mr. Bregman (Photo: Hailo)

Well, that sure didn’t take long. On Tuesday, a judge dismissed the lawsuit against the city’s taxi apps pilot program. And today, Hailo began rolling out a beta test of its own app for yellow cabs.

Earlier today, “founding passengers” received a chipper email from CEO Jay Bregman, which announced: “I can’t tell you how long I have waited to say this; Hailo Beta is LIVE in New York City! Think of Hailo as The Taxi Magnet – the app that brings Yellow Cabs to you.” 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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Q&A With TLC Chairman David Yassky About Tomorrow’s Big Vote on Smartphone Apps for Taxis

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Tomorrow morning, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission will hold a momentous vote at its headquarters on 33 Beaver Street concerning two sets of proposed rules–one of which could radically alter the taxi hailing experience for New Yorkers.

That highly contested proposal calls for changing e-hailing rules that have traditionally given yellow cabs province over street hails, where black cars and livery cabs focus on prearranged rides. If passed, those e-hail rules would open up New York’s massive, much-coveted market for yellow cabs to any request-a-ride app that meets guidelines and secures a license.

So rather than having to hail a taxi on the street, these apps will let you flag down and pay for a taxi with a few taps of your smartphone. Read More

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Off Duty Light Goes Off: Taxi Light System to No Longer Confuse Tourists

(Photo: Yellow Cab NYC)

It’s a secret point of pride for experienced New Yorkers that we know how to properly parse the mystifying taxi light system. It gives us a leg up over tourists, who spend so much time trying to differentiate between the Available and Off Duty lights that by the time they realize the cab is free, a local has already settled into the backseat.

But now, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Taxi & Limousine Commission has voted to revamp the baffling system: during scheduled taxi inspections between January and April, all taxis will be outfitted so that their signs only display one light when they’re available. When they’re taken or off-duty, the sign will be dark. 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