Taxi app test-drive: Uber, Lyft, Gett, Arro vs. hailing a yellow cab by hand

The days when the most popular way to hail a cab may be fading from the streets, with a rush of smartphone apps allowing commuters to call a ride with a few swipes.

But one thing hasn’t changed: Midtown Manhattan traffic.

A test-drive of some of the most popular apps, between Herald Square and the Port Authority, compared to the traditional method of hailing taxis, demonstrated that even newfangled technology may be no match for the crush of vehicles that clog some of the island’s busiest streets.

However, some factors increased the chances that a commuter could hail a ride quickly and efficiently — especially whether a particular service had enough cars available on the road to meet demand and whether they had a robust navigation system. Those two factors could mean the difference between time spent waiting for a cab and the cab actually picking you up at the right spot.

For the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, having more options is good for commuters.

“It’s TLC’s priority to ensure that passengers can choose from a variety of options ranging from high tech to hand hail, and that they get the benefit of all of our consumer protections no matter which method they choose,” said TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi.

Here’s what we learned from our quick commuter test drive — a by no means scientific study, but a taste of the new world of taxi riding.