» Taxis

March 6, 2015

NYC_TaxiAccording to Crain’s New York Business, Uber, the app-based taxi hailing service, believes that NYC taxis should be more like Uber. That’s according to Michael Allegretti, Uber’s New York director of public policy. Allegretti made his statements at a NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) hearing that was intended to focus on a licensing system proposed for app-based companies like Uber. But Mr. Allegretti flipped the script, instead suggesting the agency take the standards Uber has promulgated over the last four years and make them apply to the rest of the for-hire vehicle industry.

Allegretti claims that if NYC taxis follow the Uber model:

  • Drivers for NYC taxis, livery cabs, limos, and black cars will be paid $30/hour, vs the current average of $15/hour,
  • Customers will get the driver’s license, ID, and contact infomation,
  • Customers will know the full price of their trip before it starts, and
  • Handicapped-accessible taxis will have to pick up customers within 10 minutes.

Many taxi drivers and representatives of the industry disagree and reject Uber’s claims, stating:

  • The value of NYC taxi medallions has dropped considerably with the introduction of app-based hailing systems,
  • Taxis should not arbitrarily raise or lower the fare based on demand or weather (as Uber has been criticized of doing),
Filed under: Driving & Traffic News,Getting Around NYC,Taxis — Tags: , — mtohn @ 1:07 pm
January 28, 2015

NYC_TaxiOn January 1, 2015 a 30-cent Improvement Surcharge went into effect for all NYC taxi rides.

Filed under: Taxis — Tags: — mtohn @ 6:02 pm
January 22, 2015

Uber’s taxi hailing app has certainly made a small dent in the world of using a NYC taxi, though not without a series of legal battles and some really bad PR highlighting Uber’s surge pricing on New Year’s Eve and other holidays.

In December 2014, NYC’s City Council decided that it’s time for NYC to have its own app, rather than let Uber, Lyft, and Hailo have all the fun, and business. Councilman Benjamin Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, proposed the app.

Chicago is also considering its own app for e-hailing taxis, as reported by The New York Times.

Stay tuned, and we’ll see how this might affect congestion that comes with NYC driving.

Filed under: Taxis — Tags: , — mtohn @ 7:26 am
December 20, 2013

NYC Wayfinding_Signs_12-13

It’s with great joy that I welcome Walk NYC, NYC”s latest signage, which clearly shows streets, landmarks, NYC subways, WiFi hotspots, and neighborhood names.

Walk NYC’s signs meet some of the challenges of navigating our great city:

Everyone is going in a different direction, at a different pace. Some of us are in a hurry, some are walking at an excruciatingly slow tourist pace, some are heading towards a specific place, some are simply walking as the stores beckon us. Some of use want a subway, some want to walk, some want a CitiBike, some want a NYC taxi. This is so different from typical wayfinding challenges, like airports and hotels, where most people are entering and exiting from core places and at the same general pace. But in NYC, we’re all headed somewhere else.

I know more than you know.  A local may be looking for a specific address or cross-street, whereas a tourist might just be trying to figure out Read more…

Filed under: Bicycles,Buses,Getting Around NYC,Subways,Taxis — Tags: , — mtohn @ 1:03 pm
December 16, 2013

With Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio trying to improve daily life for NYC residents, Crain’s New York Business has gathered a list of ways to make getting around NYC easier. Here are some ideas for walking, NYC driving, NYC parking, subways, buses, ferries, deliveries, pay by phone, NYC Muni-Meters, bike lanes, and pedestrian plazas:

NYC Parking Ideas

Text to pay NYC Muni meters. Allow drivers to register a credit card with the city, text the number of the Muni meter to register their location, and pay the NYC parking fare, says Michael Woloz, a lobbyist for the taxi industry. No more fumbling for change, running out to feed the meter or waiting for approval in the freezing cold.

Neighborhood parking permits. Residents would pay an annual fee to park in their neighborhood. Everyone else would pay a metered or daily rate.

NYC Driving Ideas

Give NYC control of all the roads within the five boroughs. Read more…

February 21, 2013

NYC TrafficEvery day, 70,000 vehicles travel in and out of NYC’s Manhattan. Add pedestrians and bicyclists to all these regular cars, delivery trucks, and emergency vehicles, and you get quite a mess of NYC traffic.

So the NYC Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) got together with Transcore and a few other companies to create an Active Traffic Management System to improve NYC traffic. Now dubbed ‘Midtown in Motion’, this is a broad network of 100 microwave sensors, 32 traffic video cameras and E-ZPass readers initially installed at 23 intersections in NYC midtown. These devices measure traffic speeds covering a 110-block area from 2nd – 6th Aves & 42nd – 57th Sts in an effort to get NYC traffic moving faster by adjusting Midtown traffic signal patterns, unplugging bottlenecks and smoothing the flow of traffic.

Phase I resulted in an overall 10% improvement in travel times on Read more…

January 25, 2013

NYC_TaxiThrough Twitter, we heard about Hailo, a new mobile app you can use to hail a NYC taxi. From the video, it looks like you list your location on the app and the NYC taxi will accept your request. You’ll get a a text when the NYC cab is approaching. The payment is made through the Hailo app at the end of the ride.

We’re not sure how this app is different from Uber’s app to hail NYC cabs. We’ve blogged before about the legal issues Uber had with the NYC TLC.

There doesn’t seem to be a charge for passengers. The drivers pay a commission to Hailo for the service. The founding team comprising taxi drivers and entrepreneur is based in Boston, and Hailo is active in London, Boston, Barcelona, Dublin, Chicago, Madrid, and Tokyo. They’ve raised $20 million in funding. We wish them luck in NYC.

Filed under: Taxis — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 10:27 am
December 25, 2012

NYC_Taxi_2012The NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) has changed its mind again about Uber’s taxi-hailing mobile app. We previously wrote about Uber in November and September 2012.  This is how the Uber app works:

How it Works

NYC cabs get a smartphone that has the Uber software. Once a customer requests a pickup, the NYC cab driver that is closest to that customer gets a notification and has 15 seconds to respond to the request. The taxi then drives to pick up the customer and cannot pick up any other customer along the way.

The Problems

  • NYC Taxi drivers are not allowed to use any electronic devices while driving.
  • NYC rules don’t allow for pre-arrranged rides in yellow taxis.
  • NYC taxi drivers cannot refuse a fare (customer) if they are On Duty. Read more…
Filed under: Taxis — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 7:07 pm
December 20, 2012

NYC Taxi MedallionBeginning January 15, 2013, hailing a NYC taxi will be a whole lot easier to figure out. Right now, there are four combinations of NYC taxi rooftop lights to convey if the taxi is available, not available, or might be available if the driver feels like it.

But as each taxi is inspected after January 15, 2013, the ‘OFF DUTY’ lights will be discontinued. NYC taxi rooftops will have a much simpler version.

Available — if the taxi rooftop medallion number is LIGHTED

Not Available — if the taxi rooftop medallion number is DARK. This will happen if the taxi is occupied or if the driver is off-duty.

Filed under: Taxis — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 11:27 am
November 4, 2012

For a brief moment, you could hail a NYC taxi from your phone. But the NYC TLC determined that the app from www.uber.com wasn’t legal within the NYC taxi regulations, and Uber has quietly left NYC.

Uber tested out its service by giving NYC taxi drivers iPhones that connected to Uber’s mobile app. Any app user could request a taxi at a specific time and place, and the NYC taxi driver would show up.

But the NYC TLC said that Uber’s service violated its terms of service:

  • NYC regulations prevent Uber from processing credit card transactions for taxi service, so Uber offered free taxi service for Uber users for a week, and
  • A NYC taxi cannot turn down a customer if the taxi is available, which it would be while en route to pick up an Uber passenger.
Uber is available in Boston and Toronto.
Filed under: Taxis — Tags: , , — mtohn @ 4:46 pm
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