The on-again-off-again status of NYC's e-hail pilot program is now, well, back on. A New York state court has just lifted a temporary restraining order brought on by the city's livery cab companies that halted the year-long trial of taxi-hailing apps like Uber, Hailo and Taxi Magic. They argued that using the apps to book cabs counts as pre-arranging a service, which is strictly their territory. After weeks of deliberation, judges sided with the city, which contended the software is just another way to hail a cab.
Once the decision was public, cab-hailing companies took to social media to declare victory and pledged to work with the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Mayor Bloomberg offered a statement in support of it as well:
In New York City in 2013, common sense and the free market say that you should be able to use your smart phone to get a cab, and that's why we created a pilot program to allow users to do just that. This decision will allow our e-hail program to move forward, and give New Yorkers another way to hail a cab. Some in the industry want to protect their business interests by blocking the use of new technology – but innovation is good for customers, and we will continue to encourage it.
Of course, the year isn't over yet, so who knows if things will flip-flop to the other side. We suggest taking advantage of the reprieve pronto or, you know, ride the subway instead.