NYC Taxi Issues

So many problems in this article about trying to update the taxi system in New York City.

  1. Livery cabs in NYC are not allowed to pick up street hail passengers. A measure to changes this outside Manhattan is bend held up in court.
  2. A proposed e-hail system that would allow people to use their smartphone to hail a cab is being held up in court.
  3. Implementing a new, more fuel efficient taxi model in NYC is also being held up in court.
  4. NYC is trying to accept a contract from Nissan for this more fuel efficient taxi that will give them sole source power for new cabs in NYC.

To put it simply, a bunch of competing special interests are tying up and preventing improvements to the NYC taxi system. This is all possible because of a quagmire of administrative rules and laws that NYC has enacted to regulate the taxi industry. What a mess.

I’ve never understood why the yellow taxis are predominantly Ford Crown Victorias. They are gas guzzlers. Why aren’t some of the companies using Honda Civics, Toyota Corollas, Chevy Malibus, of even smaller cars?

Why is it illegal for one group of cabs to pick up street hail passengers and illegal for another group of cabs to accept pre-arranged pickup?

What NYC seems to have is a bunch of different taxi services that have a monopoly on their respective service. When there is a desire to add value or improvement for the customers it gets mired in regulatory court battles as these monopolies try to protect their turf.

Seems like the whole business could be greatly simplified. Create a simple system of standards for the cabs and allow operators to pick the cars they want to match those standards. Let companies accept passengers in whatever form… street hail, pre arranged over the phone, regularly scheduled, smartphone app, etc. I’m sure there is a need for more regulation and rules than I’m aware… but from the article above I’m also sure there is currently far too many regulations and rules. Consumers, as well as the industry, seem to be suffering for it.

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