Ride or Die

Ride or Die

Nothing Says ‘I Love You’ Like an Uber Gimmick

When the moon hits your eye etc. Flickr, Robert Couse-Baker

Valentine’s Day, a holiday that exists largely to guilt the coupled into spending money and to drive the uncoupled to shell out for, falls on a Thursday this year. This is a problem, because Thursday might very well be the least romantic of all weekdays.

Well, the unlikeliest of saviors is riding to your rescue. On February 14, Uber will be offering in several cities the option of ordering a “Romance On-Demand” package, via its app. Included are a dozen long-stemmed roses and a personalized card. (Well, personalized in the sense your beloved’s name will be printed on the card. If you wanted to send something handwritten, you should have planned in advance.) Read More

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E-Hailing Ordeal: To Pay With a Taxi App In NYC, You Might Have to Enter a 7-Digit Code


Early adopters who have been using apps like Uber and Hailo to hail and pay taxis in cities like San Francisco, Washington D.C., and London may find the process in New York City a little less seamless.

That’s because companies that currently process credit cards in New York’s yellow cabs–Verifone and Creative Mobile Technologies–want riders to have to enter a seven-digit code (that will pop up on the Taxi TV screen) before they can pay with an app, the Taxi and Limousine Commission told Betabeat this afternoon.

In other cities, riders typically just have to tap their approval, relying on credit card info stored in the app. Read More

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Regulators Pacified, Uber Debuts Taxi Service in Washington, D.C.

Call a cab. (Photo: Uber)

Guess that pivot toward friendlier relations with local regulators is working out: Today UberTAXI launches in Washington, D.C, which means hotshot lobbyists and stranded Congressional aides alike can now request and pay for a taxi from within the Uber app. It works essentially the same as the status quo black car service–it’s just another option.

Or, as Uber rather more grandiosely put it on the company blog: “There’s nothing more American than the freedom to choose—so it’s fitting that Uber is bringing our nation’s capital yet another choice when it comes to getting a reliable ride.” Read More

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


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’


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


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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Q&A With TLC Chairman David Yassky About Tomorrow’s Big Vote on Smartphone Apps for Taxis


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