Backlash against proposed taxi apps

88e0349e16b329cb7dbf90527350302f

New Yorkers may be ready to download an easier taxi hailing experience with the touch of a finger – but many drivers are hitting the brakes.

Some drivers are pushing back against plans for apps to hail and pay for cabs by smartphone.

Critics cite worries that the apps might mean fewer cabs available for spontaneous street hails or drivers fumbling with phones while they should have eyes on the road.

Apps like Uber, GetTaxi and Taxi Magic allow users to hail with the tap of a finger.

In June, the Taxi and Limousine Commission collected app proposals from companies like these to allow taxi passengers to pay, hail and even rate their cabbies.

But not all drivers will welcome the apps with open arms – the Livery Roundtable, which represents livery drivers, criticized the plans, saying that that pre-ordering a cab would blur the line with its industry, where people call to order a car, or mean fewer street hails.

Yellow cab driver Charbel Sfeir detailed another potential problematic scenario that could arise from using the apps.

“What happens if you are on Tenth Street and Greenwich, and I’m on 12th Street and Washington. You hit request, and I’ll respond – I’ll be there within minutes,” he said. “(But) sometimes people are running late to work, so they don’t want to wait for me to pick them up, and they will get into a cab driving by or dropping off someone else.”

Also, he said he is concerned about getting tickets while waiting for fares where it is not easy to pull over. “On Fifth Avenue or Madison Avenue, there’s no place to park,” he said. “My concern is No. 1 the tickets.”

And earlier this year, the Maryland-based Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association cautioned that apps could create fare gouging.

TLC spokesman Allan Fromberg said the agency has received positive feedback from cabbies, and they promised to work with the livery industry as they consider apps.

Uber wants to expand to yellow cabs

Uber is already in place in New York City using black livery cars, but the app company announced earlier this month they want to expand their app to the city’s ubiquitous yellow cabs soon.

But there is just one catch: All the apps are still technically illegal under TLC rules.

City officials say they are hoping to legalize paying for cabs via phone soon, but it would not happen before February, when a taxi contract with their credit card payment processor ends.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Local

Behind the costumes at the Brooklyn Cosplay Fashion…

Echo Chronum, 17, is a quiet and reserved Brooklyn high school student who often buries herself in her homework. But there is another side to…

Local

Reddit helps man locate missing mother in New…

The Reddit community helped Josh Goldberg find his missing mother on Tuesday.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."