Bio & Tech Insights Chicago and New York could Soon Compete with Uber and Lyft by Nick Jayson

Bio & Tech Insights
Chicago and New York could Soon Compete with Uber and Lyft
Nick Jayson
12/13/2014

 

 

According to news reports, New York and Chicago Cities could soon become rivals of Uber and Lyft, after they launch their own smartphone apps for e-hailing taxis, similar to Uber and Lyft. Chicago regulators permitted a plan to develop apps for e-hailing taxis. According to the New York Times report on Friday, New York City Councilman Ben Kallos proposed a similar app for the Big Apple.

The apps would follow the templates set by Uber and Lyft, car service companies that allow customers to hail cabs via apps instead of standing and shouting on street corners while jostling in the rain with other customers. But the competing car service companies have run unpleasant local laws around the United States, and Uber has been banned from Spain and India.

According to news reports, New York and Chicago Cities could soon become rivals of Uber and Lyft, after they launch their own smartphone apps for e-hailing taxis, similar to Uber and Lyft. Chicago regulators permitted a plan to develop apps for e-hailing taxis. According to the New York Times report on Friday, New York City Councilman Ben Kallos proposed a similar app for the Big Apple.

The apps would follow the templates set by Uber and Lyft, car service companies that allow customers to hail cabs via apps instead of standing and shouting on street corners while jostling in the rain with other customers. But the competing car service companies have run unpleasant local laws around the United States, and Uber has been banned from Spain and India.

It’s basically unbearable to overlook the impact that the likes of Uber and Lyft have had on the taxicab industry, and Chicago’s given up trying. The city government has approved a package from the local cab-drivers’ union that, among other things, pushes for unified mobile dispatching apps.

As proposed, it would work a lot like the above-mentioned ride-sharing services and, compared to apps like Hailo, this would link potential customers to all of the city’s 7,000 taxis instead of just a handful here or there.

Additionally, the Taxi Driver Fairness Reforms package would make it easier for cabbies to compete financially as well. Lease rates would drop for fuel-efficient vehicles, saving drivers, as the city notes (PDF), between 15 and 25 percent on electric, hybrid or compressed natural gas vehicle payments over three years.

Uber’s home state of California has sued both Uber and Lyft for allegedly misleading people about its driver background checks. Lyft has agreed to pay at least $250,000 in fines and to make its checks more rigorous to weed out drivers with criminal records. Uber is contesting the lawsuit. Authorities in Portland, Ore., have also sued Uber, demanding that it comply with local laws.

Drivers would get a cut of any ad revenue from their cars, too. And, in perhaps one of the more customer-facing sections of the package, the five percent fee levied on credit card transactions would be dropped to three percent. That fee still isn’t passed on to you, the passenger, but it could make for cabbies that are less apt to tell you they won’t accept your credit card.

 

 

Issue: 
Technology
Transportation