The taxi apps transforming the way New Yorkers get around
The act of hailing taxis is being transformed by new mobile technologies.
Start-ups like Uber, Lyft and others are introducing app-hailed car services that are upending the traditional model of waving down a taxi from the street.
And it seems that the taxi industry could get even more competition now that regulators are signaling that new services can operate as long as they abide by the rules of the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Those rules include drug tests for drivers, criminal background checks, insurance and more.
amNewYork took a look at some of the new apps and how they work. Some of the apps only work with yellow (or green) cabs, while others are proprietary to livery or black cars. Some services even offer luxury cars and SUVs.
How it works: Arro lets you hail yellow and green taxis anywhere in the city.
Standout features: Integrated in the payment and video screens in about half of the 13,000 cabs in the city.
Rates: Free app. Standard taxi fare.(Credit: Arro)
How it works: Bandwagon allows you to request a seat in a shared car in your area.
Standout feature: Guaranteed per-seat price.
Rates: Based on current taxi rates; fare drops when someone else joins your ride. The company claims riders save 40% on their trips.(Credit: Bandwagon)
Cab With Me
How it works: Cab With Me, which launched Aug. 3, was created to help people split the cost of a cab ride by matching them up with others nearby.
Standout features: Free!
Rates: Standard cab fare(Credit: Cab With Me)
How it works: Hail a car from a community of licensed drivers.
Standout features: Drivers greet riders with a "friendly fist bump."
Rates: Lyft charges a base rate, plus time and distance, as well as a "Trust and Safety Fee."(Credit: Lyft)
How it works: Tripda is focused on carpooling for long-distance travel, for instance when you need to get out of town.
Standout features: Ladies Only feature for women to travel only with women, providing extra security.
Rates: The company doesn't set prices; users do. A fee is added for each trip arranged through the platform, which is not disclosed on the website.(Credit: Tripda)
How it works: Uber says it offers "on-demand transportation" by allowing riders to request a pick-up as needed via smartphone. Users in New York City who use the app are presented with three options: UberX, the most affordable; UberBlack, a high-end sedan service; and UberSUV, for luxury SUVs.
Standout features: The company claims "inherent safety features" such as background screening of drivers that goes back seven years.
Rates: Prices range based on service level. The company recently made headlines by announcing that it was pricing its UberX service lower than a taxi through August.(Credit: Getty/David Ramos)
How it works: Via matches riders to cars that are going their direction using algorithm.
Standout features: Pay with WageWorks and other pre-tax options.
Rates: $5 prepaid; $7 plus tax if you pay per ride.(Credit: Via)
How it works: The Whisk app hails livery cabs licensed by the TLC.
Standout features: Whisk's Ride Pass allows for unlimited rides."
Rates: The company claims that its rates are within "10-15% of the fare of a taxi." The minimum fare is $8.00. The Ride Pass is based on riding habits.(Credit: Whisk)