» Uber

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
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
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