New York City

NYC taxis get their own ‘e-hail’ app

Hope to compete with Uber

September 11, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Now you can hail a taxi in New York City using a mobile phone app called Way2ride. Photo by Mary Frost
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New York City’s yellow and green taxis are stepping into the e-hailing tug-of-war, hoping to compete with companies like Uber and Gett, which have been eating into the traditional taxi business.

Verifone introduced its app Way2ride in New York City this week. Through the app, available for Apple and Android devices, people seeking a cab can send a trip request by pressing the “hail” button on their phones and confirming their pickup location.

Verifone says Way2ride beats Uber because there’s never any surge pricing. (Gett also boasts of having no surge pricing.) Customers only pay what’s on the meter, plus a “nominal flat fee” for hailing with the app.

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When the ride is over, payment is automatic. The tip is up to the rider, and 100 percent of it goes to the driver.

The company says Way2ride’s hailing feature is made for times like rainy days or late nights, when finding and hailing a cab on the street isn’t easy.

A Way2ride spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle that nearly 14,000 yellow and green taxis are using the app. This breaks down to 52 percent of yellow taxis and 80 percent of green taxis.

Verifone already provides many cabs with credit card readers and processes credit card payments. More than 70 percent of green cabs are Verifone clients.

The company has been piloting the e-hailing program since February, in 14,000 yellow taxis and green cabs across the city. The pilot phase featured driver training, usability testing, and consumer research.

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