Mayor Bloomberg was visited by the Appellate Court Fairy today, who removed the injunction blocking the city's e-hailing pilot, and reversed last year's supreme court decision that stopped a fleet of 18,000 green, street hail-able Boro Taxis from serving taxi-starved neighborhoods.
"This decision will allow our e-hail program to move forward, and give New Yorkers another way to hail a cab," Bloomberg said in a release. "Some in the industry want to protect their business interests by blocking the use of new technology—but innovation is good for customers, and we will continue to encourage it.”
The pilot e-hail program will be allowed to continue while an appeal, filed by 10 livery groups and for-hire vehicle services, will be considered by the appellate court. “We’re very pleased the e-hail program can move forward during the duration of the case, and we remain confident that the pilot is completely proper," Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo said in the release, adding that the court's decision showed that the appeal has "little merit."
"It's pretty rare that the transportation sector sees so much progress and justice on the same day," Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said in a release. "UberTAXI is fully up and running for yellow cabs and we look forward to helping New Yorkers hail green cabs too."
Jay Bregman, The CEO of Uber's competitor, Hailo, was more jubilant: “We won, hands down! Hailo and the TLC banded together, standing shoulder to shoulder in court, to ensure that the future stays on the streets and New York’s riding public and Yellow Taxi drivers will continue to enjoy the latest taxi technology."
But the unanimous Boro Taxi decision [PDF] may have a greater immediate impact. The Times reports that the Boro Taxis could begin serving taxi deserts in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, and northern Manhattan as soon as one month from now, and the decision also allows the city to issue 2,000 taxi medallions for wheelchair accessible yellow cabs, which is expected to generate around $1 billion in revenue over several years.