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Jay Bregman (pictured) launched Hailo in 2010 Photo by: Jordan Hollender

New York judge gives green light for Irish smartphone app to hail yellow cabs

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Jay Bregman (pictured) launched Hailo in 2010 Photo by: Jordan Hollender

The lawsuit aiming to overturn New York City’s December decision to allow a pilot program for smartphone apps that enable users to hail taxis has been dismissed.  

The Taxi and Limousine Commission’s decision to allow a “test trial” period for taxi hailing apps like Hailo came under attack from a lawsuit formed by livery and black-car operators. The lawsuit pointed out that the pilot program was in violation of a ban of prearranged rides for yellow taxis that stemmed from 1985 when two way radios were being used for the same purpose. The lawsuit also pointed to non-smartphone user discrimination and an increased ability for driver to refuse fares. The lawsuit brought a temporary restraining order on the program but was overturned April 23, 2013 by State Supreme Court Justice Huff. 

She explained that, “Petitioners have not demonstrated that the 1985 radio-dispatch situation with taxis is sufficiently comparable to the proposed e-hail program. So that the same problems of taxi unavailability and passenger discrimination are destined to occur.”

Randy M. Mastro, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs said the ruling was, “so fundamentally wrong in so many respects that we are contemplating an appeal.”

On the other hand, the city’s taxi commissioner, David S. Yassky, had the opposing view and pointed out that the lawsuit now opens up the floor for one taxi hailing app to take prominence in NYC. 

“The market will ultimately decide which apps rise or fall, and we have an obligation to give the riding public that choice.  Thanks to today’s ruling, they have that choice.”

Hailo will hope to be that choice as NYC provides an obviously lucrative market for any taxi company.  Hailo currently is open for shop in Dublin, Cork, Madrid, Barcelona, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Washington D.C. and again New York City.

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