PSFK How a New York City Taxi App Will Impact Uber And Lyft by Simone Splika

How a New York City Taxi App Will Impact Uber And Lyft
Simone Splika


Riders can hail a yellow cab without surge pricing if a New York City universal taxi app gets approved


On a cold, rainy night, New Yorkers’ umbrellas swing in the wind and their hands are held high on the street for what often feels like eternity. Hailing down a cab in the city during a storm is a past time near to impossible. Car services such as Lyft and Uber ease the burden of having to wait impatiently in the rain by allowing riders to request a car and track the time of its arrival. However, surge prices during peak transportation times, which includes rainy nights, has negatively impacted the average commuter. These particular rides fares often exceed any reasonable amount that one might pay for a regular taxi.

A new legislation will require New York City to have its own app for hailing cabs and act as a single-stop platform for drivers. The taxi app will incorporate third party services such as Lyft and Uber so drivers can respond to any customer in need of a ride and riders will be guaranteed a metered fare. The launch of such a significant initiative will surely disrupt the nature of the car sharing economy by leveling the playing field for all drivers and forcing third party applications to display available cabs.

City Council Member and software developer Ben Kallos introduced the bill with the hope that a free New York branded Universal E-Hail App would leverage technology rather than force companies out of business by making their apps illegal. In a press release, Kallos proposed that a centralized system would offer equal competition for all parties, including the companies, riders and drivers.

The citywide app is designed to promote availability for passengers to find a ride, offering up to 13,637 yellow cabs and 6,000 green cabs across multiple platforms. The entirely would create a more seamless system for riders to e-hail any type of car, whether its yellow, black or sports a pink moustache.

New York is not the first destination to propose such shifts to the car sharing system; Chicago and Washington D.C. have implemented similar initiatives that restore power to the traditional taxi driver. In D.C., the service Hailo gets drivers more work by connecting them to drivers on the street and help them avoid traffic. Hailo benefits customers by offering a cheaper fare to hail their car on the app versus on the street.

With an upgraded software, New York-based drivers of yellow and green cabs would be able to pick up e-hails from any app. The service is predicted to generate more revenue for the city and lower fuel consumption and carbon impact between rides.