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Hail and pay for NYC cabs with an app

December 20, 2012

Anyone who has been stranded in Times Square trying to flag down a cab during rush hour knows that you might have an easier time reeling in a mermaid with a surfcasting pole.

Anyone who has been stranded in Times Square trying to flag down a cab during rush hour knows that you might have an easier time reeling in a mermaid with a surf casting pole. Luckily for commuters in a hurry, new apps that allow New Yorkers to order and pay for a cab all at the touch of a screen will be piloted in Manhattan in February 2013. This may signal a new frontier for mobile payments, in which the aspiration is not to replace the plastic swiped at a credit card terminal, but to offer better, more fully integrated services alongside mobile credit card processing.

The New York State Taxi and Limousine Commission’s’ decision to allow these apps bodes well for passengers and drivers alike, as riders will be able to get cabs more easily throughout the borough, and transportation companies are likely to see increases in revenue, as riders are picked up that may have otherwise been missed. If this pilot program goes well, it could be extended to the outer boroughs as well, all of which present greater difficulties in hailing cabs than in Manhattan.

These new apps could revolutionize transportation for millions of New Yorkers and visitors to the metropolis, allowing commuters a smoother ride to work and tourists to pack more into their days, whether early in the morning or late into the night. With these news developments, it is possible that a new trend will be born in the backseat of taxis – mobile tipping.

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