Companies offering taxi hailing apps will be able to resume trials of their services in New York City, after a state court lifted a temporary restraining order brought by the city’s livery cab companies.
The likes of Hailo, Uber and Taxi Magic were stopped from trialling their apps because cab companies argued that using the apps to book taxis counts as pre-arranging a service — something they feel is part of their remit.
However, judges at the New York State Supreme Court have now agreed that the apps are just another way in which people can hail cabs.
New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission is working with the app companies on a 12 month E-Hail pilot programme to trial the cab apps.
Supporting the ruling, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said the E-Hail programme can now move forwards and that “common sense and the free market say that you should be able to use your smartphone to get a cab”.
Taxi hailing apps are big business with Hailo securing $30.6 million in funding in February, which it said it would use for the expansion of its network in Asia, Europe and the US. The company plans to launch its service in Japan in 2014.