With technology nowadays, everything seems to be getting more convenient and easier for the average person to live their daily routine. In a city like New York, it’s all about the fast paced lifestyle. For students like us that commute in the city, it is particularly advantageous if we have tools that can save us time. We see new developments every day, such as the New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission approving a pilot program that would allow the use of smartphone applications to hail yellow taxis.
With the touch of a screen, people can request a yellow taxi on their smartphone, allowing drivers to receive requests and confirm pickup locations thus eliminating the need to hail a taxi in congested traffic. The apps will be subject to geographic restrictions. For example, drivers and passengers will be able to connect if they are within half a mile of each other if a taxi is required for travel in Manhattan’s numerous business areas. For the other areas of New York City, requests can be made for a yellow taxi within 1.5 miles.
There is some controversy surrounding this newly developed program. Commissioners of for-hire vehicles are criticizing the apps as a threat to their businesses, believing that the apps violate the ban on prearranged rides in yellow taxis. Others are worried a taxi may be passing a potential customer while en route to a request therefore defeating the purpose of the new application.
The vote was 7 to 0 with 2 abstentions, and with the city’s blessing in February, a one year trial will begin. Only time will tell for this advancement’s possible success.
For more information on this development, check out this article at The New York Times website.