The Taxi and Limousine Commission will expand its pilot program for apps that let passengers hail a yellow cab from a smartphone.
TLC chief Meera Joshi told a City Council committee Wednesday that the agency will start a licensing system for "e-hail" apps, which have let passengers and drivers "peek around corners to connect with one another."
The pilot, which launched with Uber, Hailo and three other companies, saw 600,000 e-hail requests. One important requirement for these apps, according to Joshi, was that they must minimize driver distraction with a one-touch system.
"You don't want an application that requires lots of touching in order for you to accept a ride," she said.
Joshi said data form the e-hail pilot showed the apps were popular where yellow taxis are scarce -- 66% of yellow taxis ehailed were from outside the Manhattan central business district, while that was the case for 6% of all yellow cab rides in the city.
The draft e-hail rules will be published before the end of the year.