Total Pageviews

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Uber App Can Now Be Used to Hail Yellow Cabs in New York

Company’s App Can Now Be Used to Hail Yellow Cabs in City

After a series of court hearings and false starts, New York City’s yellow-taxi riders can now, for the first time, legally hail a cab with a smartphone app.

On Tuesday night, a company called Uber, which entered the yellow taxi-hailing market last year before being rebuffed by the city, said that its service was available, one week after a lawsuit challenging the use of such apps was dismissed. The city announced on Friday that Uber’s was so far the first and only app to be approved.

“The launch of Uber’s service is great news for New Yorkers and visitors to our city who want to quickly and conveniently get a taxi,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in a statement. “Adding safe and regulated e-hail service is the latest in our administration’s efforts to use innovative technology to improve taxi service.”

In December, the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a pilot program of apps for yellow cabs, prompting a lawsuit from livery and black-car operators who argued that the program would violate the city’s longstanding ban on prearranged rides in yellow taxis. The plaintiffs initially succeeded in delaying the program, securing a temporary restraining order on the plan, but a State Supreme Court justice dismissed the suit last week.

Uber initially rankled city officials in September, when it began operations for yellow taxis without the commission’s permission.

Now a rival company, Hailo, appears to have drawn the city’s ire. The commission issued a terse industry notice this week warning drivers that they would be subject to summonses if they used a recently released test version of Hailo’s product.

A version of this article appeared in print on May 1, 2013, on page A23 of the New York edition with the headline: Company’s App Can Now Be Used to Hail Cabs in City.