On Valentine's Day, members of the livery car industry filed suit against New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission, charging that the Bloomberg administration had violated the law when it approved a one-year taxi app pilot program that would allow smartphone users to hail cabs by tapping their iPhones and Androids.(3)
Today, New York City's taxi commission voted to approve a one-year taxi app pilot that will allow New Yorkers to, for the first time, hail cabs by smartphone.
Taxi and Limousine Commission chairman David Yassky is backing off of the city's bid to allow New Yorkers to hail taxis by smartphone, instead telling Capital New York that a one-year pilot program is "a better idea."
Yassky's moderated position comes just a day before the commission was to vote on the Bloomberg administration's proposal to make taxi apps legal in New York City. A majority of commission members were expected to vote against the new rules, fearing they would upend the peculiar structure of the New York City taxi industry.
"I foresee the rules as written not passing," said Frank Carone, a Taxi and Limousine commissioner.
In March, New York City announced it was looking for a new app, one that would allow taxi riders to pay their fares by smartphone, find people to share rides with, and maybe even alert passengers to available cabs.
GetTaxi, an company whose app is already functional in Israel, London and Moscow, is vying for the franchise, and this afternoon, it revealed some of the details of its bid to reporters.(1)