The smartphone cab revolution begins (video)
Get a $10 credit toward upcoming e-hailing app Hailo, and find out about others you can use right now.
Tue Feb 26 2013
Say, chum, your arm looks tired. Still hailing cabs the old-fashioned way, eh? It took NYC long enough to get with the times when it comes to using smartphones to flag down taxis—mostly due to lawsuits and other roadblocks—though other cities have been perfecting the practice in the meantime. Now, London-founded app Hailo (iOS, Android; free) is poised to launch in New York. The app allows you to hail a yellow cab with the click of a button, track its arrival on a map and automatically pay for it with stored credit card info. (Scroll down to check out a video of the service in action.) The exact launch date is still TBA, but you can sign up to become a “founding passenger," and get a $10 credit once Hailo is up and running in NYC. Similar apps, including Taxi Magic and Flywheel, are also hoping to become available in Gotham soon.
In the meantime, here are a couple taxicentric apps currently in use in NYC that should help make your search for a ride a little easier:
iOS, Android; free
Billing itself as “your private driver” (not to be confused with your private dancer), this car-service app lets you flag down a sleek-looking car or SUV in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey. It’s fancy, but pricey: The base fare is $6 to $14, depending on the vehicle you choose. As with Hailo, payments are done through your phone.
iOS, Android; free
This app is simple, but effective. By pressing a button, you can hail a yellow cab within a four-to-five-block radius. Once you’ve pinged your location, rotate your phone sideways and it’ll flash yellow to help the driver find you. You can’t watch the taxi arriving on a map or use it to pay your fare, but it gets the important work done—minimizing the time you have to spend freezing your ass off on the street.