Talking tech since 2003

Uber, the company that has been disrupting the transportation space, specifically when it comes to taxi’s has brought back its e-hail taxi app in New York City.  The company made the announcement on its blog earlier today.

This past Friday, the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission approved Uber as the first participant in a one year e-hail pilot program. This solidifies New York City’s commitment to technology and innovation, and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.

Of course this comes months after Uber had to stop offering its e-hailing taxi app when the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission made it difficult to get more yellow taxi’s on the road (and the demand was significantly outweighing the supply of taxi’s).  The company wrote on its blog back in October 2012, “We did the best we could to get more yellows on the road but New York’s TLC (Taxi and Limousine Commission) put up obstacles and roadblocks in order to squash the effort around e-hail, which they privately have said is legal under the rules. We’ll bite our tongues and keep our frustration here to ourselves.”

It appears that has all be resolved as the service (UberTAXI) is in fact back in business in NYC.  Some things to keep in mind when using UberTAXI:

  • You MUST pay the driver. The fare will be calculated with the standard NYC Taxi meter and paid the old fashioned way, using cash or credit card. For now, UberTAXI is “e-hail only” and payment is not supported within the app.
  • Supply will be limited at first. Service will get better and better over the coming weeks as we add taxi drivers to the Uber system. We’re working as fast as possible to get UberTAXI up to the Uber Black standard you’ve grown to love in NYC.
  • Black will remain the default option. To request a taxi instead of a black car, be sure to select TAXI using the slider at the bottom of the Uber app. UberTAXI can not be requested via SMS (try instead!)
  • No UberTAXI at airports. Per Taxi and Limousine Commission e-hail rules, the UberTAXI option will not be available at JFK, LGA or outside the five boroughs.

Uber is available in select cities around the world, including New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Paris, Toronto, and several others.

Update: Well, that was short-lived.  An emergency injunction has been issued by Associate Justice Helen E. Freedman of the Appellate Division that is now blocking the program from going forward.  The judge also ordered expedited review by a full panel of appeals court judges, Randy Mastro, an attorney for the livery cab companies with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg today.  This means that Uber’s e-hailing feature may no longer be allowed to be used in NYC as of right now.  We’ll keep an eye on this story as it develops further.

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