New York City Finally Gets Behind Apps For Hailing Taxis

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[credit provider=”Daniel Goodman / Business Insider”]

New Yorkers are now officially allowed to hail and pay for cars with their smart phones.This morning, New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission voted to try mobile car hailing services in The Big Apple for one year.  They’ll see how it goes, then decide whether or not to make e-hailing permanent.

This is a big win for companies like Uber, GroundLink, Lyft and TaxiMagic. All of the startups have been working on apps that let people flag down cars on their smart phones in real-time. Traditional cab companies have been fighting the new, innovative solutions, which offer competitive prices and divvy up their businesses.

Uber and GroundLink specialize in black car services; they let users hail personal drivers the moment they need them. Lyft is a ride sharing service that can also be hailed from a mobile app.

Credit card payments and taxi TV services were also renewed.

The Skift has been covering the updates from this morning’s decision. Here’s what it says was approved for the NYC e-hailing trial period:

  • If you try and hail a car below 59th Street, you can only lure a car within a half-mile radius of your location.
  • Everywhere else in the city, any taxi or black car within a mile-and-a-half radius can scoop you up.
  • Drivers who partake in e-hailing need to be able to accept a pick-up request with one touch.
  • Payments need to be processed through a T-PEP Provider.
  • Each app has to report quarterly to the TLC.

“When Uber rolled out New York’s first e-hail application in September, the demand we saw for the first dispatch service on taxis in decades was enormous,” Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick said of the TLC’s decision. “New Yorkers got around the five boroughs more efficiently and drivers earned hundreds of dollars more per week. We’re encouraged that Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his Taxi and Limousine Commission are expanding New York City’s incredible tech-friendly innovations to make yellow cabs work better for both drivers and passengers.”