New York City wants to launch a pilot program for “e-Hailing” NYC taxis. With E-hailing, you use your smartphone to virtually hail a nearby cab, then pay using a pre-stored credit card. It’s awesome, and lots of other cities are already up and running with it.
Unfortunately, NYC is on the brink of losing this opportunity. A group of car service companies, in a misguided attempt to protect their own businesses at the expense of the convenience of New Yorkers and visitors alike, is suing the city to block the pilot program.
E-hailing is already part of the transportation experience in London, Dublin, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco, among others. Drivers and passengers in those towns have instantly adopted it as the new norm, and love it for its convenience the boost it gives the taxi industry. They will never look back. Without it, New Yorkers will feel like second class global citizens.
E-Hail apps like Hailo, Flywheel, and Uber have proven they will improve the livelihood of taxi drivers and the quality of life for their customers, and will do the same for New Yorkers.
Let’s not miss this opportunity. Let’s tell NYC, the taxi industry and the courts that we want NYC’s transportation network to be world class, and that e-Hailing is a critical step on that path.