Why Hailing a Taxi May Soon Be Ancient History

Ted Mann explores the new wave of mobile applications changing the way cabs and their customers interact, which could make the act of physically hailing a cab obsolete in as soon as five years.

From Hailo to Get Taxi, a number of promising applications are lining up to get regulatory approval to start connecting taxis to customers in New York and other American cities. As Mann explains, "The apps all work slightly differently, but in general they allow smartphone users to see where available cabs are, alert drivers that they need a ride, and store credit-card or debit-card information so they can pay for the trip without exchanging money or swiping a card."

Unfortunately, in many cities, outdated regulations written long before the rise of smartphones must be revised to allow a handful of tasks that would allow the apps to be fully functional.  

"'Technology is moving at lightning speed,' and the regulatory process is not, says Matthew Daus, a former New York City taxi commissioner whose law firm, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP, is advising regulators about new technologies. 'We're at a regulatory fork in the road,' Mr. Daus adds. The crafting of new rules 'has the opportunity to be the greatest potential achievement if it's done right,' he says. 'Or it could be the biggest disaster ever' if it fails to let the industry benefit fully from the latest technologies."

Full Story: Taxi! Taxi! Oh, Never Mind. I'll Use My Smartphone.


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.