New York judge gives green light for smartphone app to hail yellow cabs
A judge says New York City can test out letting people hail yellow cabs via their smartphones. A Manhattan judge has dismissed a lawsuit over the "e-hail" programme and lifted an order that temporarily stopped it. The city Taxi and Limousine Commission agreed in December to test the idea for a year. Livery cab owners sued. They say the programme would violate a law that prohibits cab drivers from refusing passengers without justifiable grounds. The judge says the e-hail plan might actually combat discrimination in selecting passengers, since drivers won't be able to see their fares when accepting them. Taxi Commissioner David Yassky calls the decision a victory for riders' choice. Now, people will be able to find, hail and pay for taxis in New York City using their smartphones. So-called ‘e-hailing’ is already hugely popular in San Francisco, London, Chicago, Dublin and other cities where services such as Uber, Hailo, Get Taxi and FlyWheel are competing to sign up both cab users and drivers. Users love the convenience of being able to scan for nearby cabs and then summon one with a touch-screen tap. Cab drivers are able to spend less time driving around looking for fares and more time carrying paying customers.