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New York Court Lifts Ban on Taxi Hailing Apps

By - Source: Engadget | B 11 comments
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New York City Courts lift ban on e-hailing apps for city's cabs. While prearranged taxi service companies disagree, Mayor Bloomberg voices support for technological development.

New York City and her iconic yellow taxi service are both historic treasures, but like all things, they too must consider whether to undergo technological advances in order to stay on top of today's culture and society. With smartphones more popular now than ever before, the city has embraced a fusion of smartphones with its taxi service, resulting in an e-hail pilot program the past year for mobile apps such as Uber, Hailo, and Taxi Magic. However, due to complaints from local cab companies, the courts placed a temporary restraining order on all taxi hailing apps.

After a lot of discussion, the courts reversed their decision last week and are currently allowing the apps to operate in the city. The city's taxi companies have said that they believe the apps are infringing on their consumer market, namely prearranged taxi services. However, judges have concluded that the software is just another form of hailing a cab, and therefore may operate freely in the city and surrounding suburbs, on the condition that they cooperate with the Taxi and Limousine Commissions (TLC). 

While this new business model has already been implemented successfully in other cities such as London (since November 2011), it will always result in technological alienation, competition for protected local businesses, and even some feeling of cultural bastardization. The question is whether these kinds of advances are in the best interest for cities around the globe, and whether the heritage of a city should be protected with an iron fist, or should evolve and form around the modern age in order to offer a cultural and historic city of tomorrow. As always, feel free to share your feelings and opinions in the comments section below.

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  • 0 Hide
    slomo4sho , June 13, 2013 4:00 PM
    Only in New York would such a law actually be passed by the legislation to begin with...
  • 0 Hide
    Georgia Espino , June 13, 2013 4:46 PM
    I like having a taxi-hailing app!
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , June 13, 2013 7:32 PM
    Okay, it's late, I'm tired. Why exactly does anyone/companies have a problem with taxi hailing apps?
  • Display all 11 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Chrys , June 13, 2013 7:54 PM
    Because the companies lose money and power. The app is direct competition with very low overhead costs. The scheduling companies probably have huge costs for labor and licenses.
  • 0 Hide
    Chrys , June 13, 2013 7:54 PM
    Because the companies lose money and power. The app is direct competition with very low overhead costs. The scheduling companies probably have huge costs for labor and licenses.
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , June 13, 2013 8:48 PM
    Thanks for the clarity.
  • 0 Hide
    TheCapulet , June 14, 2013 5:25 AM
    Mayor Bloomberg has it under control.
  • 0 Hide
    joebob2000 , June 14, 2013 1:10 PM
    The reason for the ban was that the hailing apps could allow you to "hire" an unlicensed cab. If you take even a glance at the history of taxicabs in NYC, you will realize why it is that only licensed cabs are allowed to operate, and why the licenses are hard to come by. The apps are one thing, but allowing an essentially unregulated cab economy to grow on the streets of NYC is not what anyone wants (except the shady "cab" drivers). Do your homework before you conclude that rules on cabs in NYC are somehow intrusive or overreaching, the alternative is FAR worse.
  • 0 Hide
    Taxidrivingjobs , October 2, 2013 5:38 AM
    I foresee the same issue happening in London as these APPS take over... They are great but make a mockery of legislation sometimes. Yes the consumer wants them but who is held accountable when the unthinkable happens to a passenger travelling in an unlicensed taxi booked by APP.

    http://www.taxidrivingjobs.com
  • 0 Hide
    Taxidrivingjobs , October 2, 2013 5:40 AM
    I foresee the same issue happening in London as these APPS take over... They are great but make a mockery of legislation sometimes. Yes the consumer wants them but who is held accountable when the unthinkable happens to a passenger travelling in an unlicensed taxi booked by APP.

    http://www.taxidrivingjobs.com
  • 0 Hide
    Taxidrivingjobs , October 2, 2013 5:40 AM
    I foresee the same issue happening in London as these APPS take over... They are great but make a mockery of legislation sometimes. Yes the consumer wants them but who is held accountable when the unthinkable happens to a passenger travelling in an unlicensed taxi booked by APP.

    http://www.taxidrivingjobs.com
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