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Hailing a cab in NYC

New York City, New...
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Hailing a cab in NYC

Interesting article in NYTimes about a proposed smart phone app to call a taxi.

nytimes.com/2012/09/05/nyregion/as-ubers-tax…

Apparently NYC is one of the few cities where you hail a cab on the street. Just go to the curb, raise your hand, and roaming Yellow Taxis come to you. And in central locations there are many taxis and in general it works well.

However, in other cities you have to call private dispatchers (like livery services, Dial 7, etc) who send cars to you, often cars in bad repair, and the system doesn't work well. therefore these apps were developed.

Unfortunately, like illegal vacation apartment rentals, these apps may be illegal in NYC. There is a lively debate ("Comments") about many people (usually non-Nyers or visitors) who think these apps are greater, and locals who think we don't need it in NY and it will change the taxi market to favor cellphone users, require pre-registration and preapproved credit card, waste eveyone's time, be an unnecessary middle-person. etc.

What do you think?

New York, NY
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1. Re: Hailing a cab in NYC

I haven't yet made up my mind about whether the apps should or should not be allowed. But I have a feeling that the T&LC may need modernize their rather ancient set of rules that differentiates between taxis and car services in light of technology like this.

(And, by the way, an app like this could even the score a little between taxis and car services - many car service drivers will try to pick up street hails, even though it's illegal. Up until now, however, taxis have had no way to use a dispatch.)

Brooklyn, NY
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2. Re: Hailing a cab in NYC

Not to sound to persnickety but most New Yorkers could not care about phone apps for car services - we take the subway. If you are someone who does occasionally take a cab, you know that there are certain times when it is quite easy, and other times [rush hour and when it is raining] that it seems impossible.

And yes, the TLC is constantly attempting to tweak the rules with regard to Yellow cabs vs. car services. The latest tweak is an attempt to allow car services to do street pickups in the outer boros. You would more understand the debate once you know that a taxi medallion can go for a cool million:

…nytimes.com/2011/…

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Hailing a cab in NYC

Mel: I slightly disagree with you. I live in Manhattan and I often take cabs. I am usually on a tight schedule working also in Manhattan and often have to go from Columbus Circle area to Murray Hill, or Upper East Side, or Stuy Town areas, all pretty inconvenient "direct" subway rides when in a hurry. When I am in a business mode, i usually take taxi.

Also, sometimes its that my feet hurt and I'll treat myself to a taxi. Also later at night, even tho subways are safe, I just feel more comfortable with a cab, esp. as it is door to door and I don;t have to walk to subway station.

I would say I average 3-4 taxi rides per week.On the other hand, when I do a straight run, say, downtown on West Side, I do subway

But each person has his-her own preferences based on location, time of day, time available, finances, etc. However, a typical tourist would do better with subway than taxi, and most tourist locations are in places easily accessible by train.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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4. Re: Hailing a cab in NYC

FYI ~ Let the buyer beware, Those using uber in NYC to hail a car, they use "surge" pricing.....ie.....much higher rates rush hour & during rain storms, etc... From their website......

Surge pricing is a dynamic pricing structure designed to improve Uber’s reliability during high-traffic times. Surge pricing only goes into effect when we have a higher than average demand for Ubers without the supply of cars to facilitate that demand.

More Surge Pricing Questions:

Why Am I Being Charged More Than Usual During Surge Pricing?

Answer: In order to maintain the quality of service that you’ve come to expect and love from Uber, we increase rates to both curb demand as well as incentivize drivers to maintain a high quality of performance.

How Will I Know When Surge Pricing Is In Effect?

Answer: When you open the Uber app you will be notified via the "Surge pricing is in effect" messaging that is displayed on screen.

Should you order via SMS, you will receive an SMS notification that "Surge pricing is in effect".

London, United...
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5. Re: Hailing a cab in NYC

We've just had a similar app launched in London called Hailo - and it's fantastic.

Users know exactly how long a cab will take to come, they're given the name of the driver and the registration number, London cabbies like it because they tell me they get 2-3 extra jobs a day, and we love it because it makes it so much easier to get a cab from home instead of having to walk a little bit to a main road. Since it launched we;ve used nothing else for trips to railway stations etc - we still hail on the street, but use Hailo otherwise

It also gives you electronic receipts automatically and lets you pay by card.

Obviously not the same as NYC in terms of pricing, but as a principle I'd be in favour.

NYC/Israel
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6. Re: Hailing a cab in NYC

The apps have been declared illegal in NYC

nytimes.com/2012/…

or (same link but tiny)

http://tinyurl.com/9bx9gft

United States
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7. Re: Hailing a cab in NYC

Mel,

The New York State Supreme Court overturned the law that would have made changes in NY taxi services including issuing "hail licenses" for livery cabs in the outer boroughs. Also, this law affected the efforts city was trying to make for hail services for people with disabilities who need wheelchair accessible cabs. See article from the New York Times below as well as follow-up New York Times editorial in links below.

nytimes.com/2012/08/18/nyregion/law-expandin…

nytimes.com/2012/…

Having grown up in NY, but not having lived there for quite a number of years and experiencing atocious public transport in other areas of the country, I can identify with your saying that New Yorkers tend toward public transportation because NYC has fabulous public transportation options, especially the subway. However, there are many reasons to take cabs--for convenience or where subway service may be more compliicated but also for necessity for people with disabilities, especially those with mobility problems. And the service to the outer boroughs and within the outer boroughs is atrocious, as you know.

On a recent trip to Brooklyn to the Aloft on Duffield St., when it was virtually impossible to manage with suitcases, folding bike etc.coming off Amtrak at Penn Station, we got a yellow cab from the line in front of the station. I jumped into the cab--knowing that once we were in the cab the driver had to take us to our destination in the five boroughs.

Sure enough, he told us he did not know Brooklyn (which proved to be true!) but I told him he had to take us and between a bike map that my son had, meeting up with NYPD officers once we got close by in Brooklyn, and luckily seeing the sign for the Sheraton Hotel which is next to the Aloft, we got there.

Much harder to deal with the need we had for a cab after a wedding reception in Brooklyn itself and for returning to Brooklyn from Manhattan very late at night when the Jay St./Metro Tech station and the streets near Metro Tech were very deserted--we didn't even think about a cab the rest of the trip. A bit of a dilemma...

NYC/Israel
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8. Re: Hailing a cab in NYC

No_GPS--By law the cabbie SHOULD have a MAP and many now have GPS --although they may opt to deny it.

Shoutout to GWB--is is now the law for them to also have GPS?

New York City
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9. Re: Hailing a cab in NYC

Not quite, rdglady. Taxi regulations require that taxis have the "T-PEP" system that allows for payment by credit card and automatically records where fares are picked up and dropped off. While the T- PEP has GPS features (which is why the passenger can see the route map on the screen in the back seat, and how the location of pick-up is automatically recorded), there is no separate requirement that the driver have a regular GPS of his own.

United States
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10. Re: Hailing a cab in NYC

GW--

Does the T-PEP actually function as a GPS for the driver? I learn a lot from this forum which I have just discovered. I have to keep it all in mind for our next time in the city at Christmas.