Updated 12/13/2012 02:59 PM
Taxi Commission Approves Plan To Hail Cabs Via Smartphone
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The city approved a plan Thursday to allow riders hail cabs via smartphone.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission voted in favor of allowing riders to use apps to find drivers.
It will be introduced as a pilot program starting in February.
Passengers will be allowed to find cabs within half a mile miles in Manhattan's central business district south of 59th Street and within 1.5 miles elsewhere.
We spoke with one TLC commissioner who abstained.
"Is an app -- is that now a pre-arranged call," TLC Commissioner Nora Marino said. "The line is blurred now."
"It's definitely going to go on to increase the drivers' efficiency and productivity by a huge measure," taxi driver Jahangir Khan said.
Until now, only livery cabs have been able to find passengers electronically.
The TLC will implement rules to make sure people can still hail yellow cabs on the street, and will limit how far a driver can go to pick up a passenger who hails electronically.