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Taxis: New Rules for New Technologies

+ Kari Kohn

Though the rules governing taxi service are far from efficient in many American cities, popular new technologies are spurring at least a few changes in New York:

Ready to get hip to today’s mobile times, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) today proposed regulations that would finally allow app makers to legally operate electronic taxi hail and payment systems in the city.A TLC press release cited a survey that found 70 percent of respondents have smartphones and 55 percent want the ability to e-hail and pay through smartphones.“Taxi passengers should be able to use the most up-to-date technology available to find a cab faster,” TLC Commissioner David Yassky said in a statement. “We welcome feedback from the taxi and car service industries on how taxi-hail apps can best supplement the existing service models so that we can finalize these rules and get apps on passengers’ smartphones by early next year.”The proposed rules will be a topic for discussion at a November 29 hearing. The Commission, which is currently accepting comments from the general public, will then vote on the suggested rules during a December 13 meeting. Consumers could, if all goes well, be back to e-hailing cabs in the Big Apple by early 2013.

More at VentureBeat and additional reporting at Betabeat.

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