After an epic battle waged by yellow cab drivers over the unfairness of e-hail apps, NYC taxis may be joining the scrum themselves. A Manhattan councilmember has introduced legislation that would enable those cabs—currently only available by good old-fashioned arm hail—to make prearranged stops when summoned by an app.
"City taxis need an app of their own to compete, and New Yorkers need to be able to get a cab in the rain without having to worry about surge pricing," Councilman Ben Kallo said in a statement. “New York City must support our tech sector: Instead of making new technologies illegal, or regulating them out of business, we should provide a level playing field with fair competition so that companies, drivers and riders all win.”
The bill would require the Taxi and Limousine Commission to create an app that syncs with other services like Uber and Lyft, in order to streamline the process of e-hailing for passengers. The controversial practice of surge pricing, however, would not be applied when hailing a city cab.
The TLC told the Post that it's open to exploring new hailing horizons.
“We’ve had a very successful e-hail pilot program with a number of qualified participants, which has been serving passengers well,” a spokesperson told the tabloid.