December 13, 2012

New Yorkers Refuse to 'Fahgettaboudit': Taxi Authority to Vote on Whether Livery Apps Should be Utilized


Ah, New York city. The greatest city in the world, in my opinion at least, that is filled to the brim with almost every kind of ethnicity there is, in addition to art, theatre, shopping, restaurants and an electric culture. A major staple of NYC besides the dirty water dogs or hotdogs as tourists like to call them is cabs. In fact, it’s hard to even picture this metropolis without these yellow taxis transporting people anywhere they wish to go with that number estimated at nearly 12,779 in this location alone, and that isn’t even including car services.

Let’s be honest most New Yorkers are extremely tech-savvy and utilize their smartphones constantly. Thus, it makes sense why this population would leverage apps to find a cab much more efficiently as their days are jam packed with necessary activities. However, concerns are continuing to be raised that have to do with if these applications could actually be negatively affecting the space overall.

While David Yassky, the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission’s chairman recently told the Wall Street Journal, "Taxi-hailing apps will be useful to customers," he also pointed out that “there's a lot we don't know about how they will work in practice and what impact there will be on other parts of industry.”

Image via Shutterstock

An upcoming vote will be used to determine if these apps actually work which will proven soon through a pilot program. If they are in fact successful, a one year trial will be implemented and then a thorough review of its impact to the vertical will be closely measured.

Although usually touted as a trendsetter in many ways, the big apple is actually not the first city to use these apps. Going down under, Australia residents’ increasing use of apps to quickly locate the nearest cab has caused the taxi authority in the country to power a warning about applications that don’t even really work.

"These rogue app companies will say anything in their quest for profit," commented Benjamin Wash from the Australian Taxi Industry Association.

And earlier this week, Chicago taxi cab owners expressed their anger over the Uber app. They are claiming that the app is wreaking havoc upon the industry throughout the country by allowing people to request a cab or livery service via their smartphones.

"The technology has made limos viable alternatives to taxis," Uber CEO Travis Kalanick retorted. "And the taxi industry is not used to having an alternative. It's not used to having to compete. It's used to going to city officials and lobbying them to protect their business and keep competition out. And that has resulted in poor service in most cities across the country."




Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli



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