Regulations

N.Y. Livery Car Groups Sue Over Smartphone Taxi-Hail Program

Posted on February 14, 2013

NEW YORK -- Livery car groups sued the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission to stop a program that allows riders to hail taxis using smartphones from going into effect.

The Livery Roundtable, Black Car Assistance Corp., and several car service firms filed a complaint today in state court in Manhattan alleging that the program violates city codes and discriminates against the elderly, who are less likely to own smartphones.

The new program, set to go into effect as early as tomorrow, also “fundamentally overhauls the city’s long- standing transportation policy that has drawn a clear, bright- line” between medallion taxis authorized to pick up street hails and black cars that must be hired by appointment, according to the complaint.

“With this E-Hail program, the TLC seeks unilaterally to upend the city council’s carefully considered statutory scheme,” the groups said in the complaint.

Under the program, riders would use smartphones to track down nearby taxis and summon one to their location.

The hired-car groups requested an emergency injunction to halt the program.

Allan J. Fromberg, a spokesman for the TLC, said he didn’t have an immediate comment on the suit.

The case is Black Car Assistance Corp. v. The City of New York, Supreme Court for the State of New York, County of New York (Manhattan).

Source: Bloomberg News

Crain's New York Business article and copy of lawsuit here

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