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New York Taxis Debut App to Compete with Uber


In July, Uber said it had 26,000 Uber driver-partners in New York City, almost double the city's 13,587 yellow taxis. To be more competitive, the New York taxis started using the luxurious Nissan NV200 minivan to replace their aging taxi fleet. And now, taxis are debuting an app to summon rides.


On Wednesday a smartphone app called Arro debuted, so taxi customers can use their smartphones geolocation to call a cab with a push of the button. And like with Uber's app, it shows what taxis are nearby and how long it will take them to arrive. It's available on 7000 taxis already and backers are pushing it to spread quickly.


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Anything that pushes back at Uber is generally fine with me, but there are a few side issues here...starting with the "aging taxi fleet," which is actually newer than it's been in many years.


The NV2000 boondoggle (and that's what it is) started with the previous mayor, Bloomberg, who decided that all owners should be forced to use the same cab..and then chose the NV2000, which does not, and cannot, meet ADA standards. For it to be wheelchair accessible requires an aftermarket conversion that costs half as much as the car, and requires two parking spaces to operate, since it's a long ramp out the back of the car. Other cars can be adapted for side loading, and at much less cost.


The NV2000 is coming into use now over the objections of riders, owners and disability advocates and only to save the city from paying out damages to Nissan for a contract that should never have happened, and which has drastically delayed the goal of making NY cabs wheelchair compliant.


That's another area where Uber thumbs its nose at the rules, too. Their only answer is "call us, and we'll call an accessible cab for you."

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

I seem to remember you posting something about the Nissan Minivan before on TG but I couldn't find it. I'll link to it here if I can come across it


I do like the idea of finding out the fare ahead of time with the app. No arguing about what route to take or worrying you'll be over-charged

If you want a thing done, ask a busy man.

Well, even without the app, it's not like the fa e is a blind guess, either. There's a meter, and a rate based on miles and time...just like almost every other big city. And there are online calculators such as WorldTaxi which will tell you about what a specific trip should cost,


It's not that there aren't things that could improve, but Uber is no improvement, with its cavalier attitudes (surge pricing, drivers stiffed on rates, lack of or inadequate insurance) and its not paying its share (all our yellow and green cabs pay a 50c per ride charge to aid public transit; Uber doesn't and says "so what, we pay sales tax." Which they do, and which does NOT help pay for mass transit.)



The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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