March 6, 2015
According 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),
January 28, 2015
On January 1, 2015 a 30-cent Improvement Surcharge went into effect for all NYC taxi rides.
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.
February 22, 2014
New NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio has announced significant changes to improve NYC traffic. DiBlasio’s primary objective is to reduce the number of NYC traffic fatalities to zero. He plans to accomplish that by:
- Instituting a police crackdown on NYC speeding motorists,
- redesigning 50 dangerous intersections and streets each year,
- increasing NYC police enforcement against dangerous moving violations, including speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians, signal violations, improper turns/disobeying signage, and phoning/texting while driving,
- getting Albany’s permission to decrease the citywide speed limit to 25 mph from 30 mph,
- increasing the number of red-light cameras beyond the current 120 locations,
- implementing eight new neighborhood slow zones,
- installing speed
- cameras at 20 new authorized locations,
- installing 250 speed bumps, including in neighborhood slow zones,
- enhancing street lighting at 1,000 intersections,
- creating 25 new “neighborhood slow-zones” to help minimize speeding,
- imposing stiffer penalties on NYC taxi drivers who drive dangerously, and
- maintaining an interagency task force to oversee the implementation of Vision Zero.
Vision Zero is Mayor DiBlasio’s plan to reduce the number of NYC traffic fatalities to zero. Read more…
February 21, 2013
Every 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
Through 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.
December 25, 2012
The 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.
- 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…
December 20, 2012
Beginning 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.
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.
October 18, 2012
If you’re doing any NYC driving, please be careful. With probably more than 50,000 vehicles in Manhattan alone at any time (it’s a guess since there are 13,000 NYC taxis), NYC traffic is tough to navigate.
Mayor Bloomberg’s office has released it’s bi-annual Mayor’s Management Report, and the stats are not great for NYC traffic fatalities form July 2011 – June 2012:
- 23% increase in NYC traffic fatalities.
- Increase from 236 to 291. There were 310 NYC traffic fatalities in 2007.
- 176 cyclist or pedestrian fatalities, up from 158 during July 2010 – June 2011.
- 115 motorist or passenger deaths, up from 78 during July 2010 – June 2011.
According to The New York Times article, Bloomberg’s office is being pressed to explain these increases against its earlier claims that Read more…