It's a frustrating reality for rain-soaked commuters and sloshed bar flies alike: towns that have the fewest cabs somehow have the best cab apps, while New York has plenty of taxi power but no way to hail them on a phone (unless you shell out for a car service). You can report law-breaking cabbies but not hail one! That may change soon, as ABC reports that the TLC is accepting proposals from developers to create a NYC taxi app.
Taxi Magic is available in 45 cities and is one of the apps that's applied for the privilege of routing the city's cabs. “Ours is one of the few companies that does deep integration with the hardware a cabby has with his meter,” Matt Carrington, the company's marketing director says. A potential fare's pickup location would flash on the cabbie's "mobile data terminal."
Another app, GetTaxi, already in three cities, has $20 million in financing and hopes to complete a NYC app this year, and its PR team says it will "hail, live track and pay for a cab on your phone, rate the driver, find lost property, split the bill, rideshare, and hail an accessible cab."
Hailo, which is based in London, has already opened up an NYC office to prepare themselves for entering the market. But Hailo's CEO Jay Bregman expressed skepticism at the TLC's decision to limit the service to one app. “We don’t think exclusivity benefits really anyone in the long run. The companies selected, by definition, don’t innovate as quickly."
We've contacted the TLC for comment and will update with the response.