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Judge OKs NYC plan for 'e-hailing' yellow cabs

Jennifer Peltz | April 24, 2013
The city can experiment with letting taxi seekers hail rides electronically, a judge said Tuesday in a ruling that could clear the way for riders to summon the city's signature yellow taxis with smartphone apps instead of raised arms.

Huff also rejected other claims, including an argument that the program was too broad to qualify as a test.

The city's chief lawyer, Michael Cardozo, said the ruling confirms the city's position that the program is entirely proper.

Meanwhile, the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, was poised to hear arguments Wednesday over a nearly opposite initiative: A plan to let livery cabs pick up passengers on streets in upper Manhattan and the city's four other boroughs.

In that case, yellow cab owners sued. They said the plan would hurt their business; Mayor Michael Bloomberg has countered that it would make travel safer, easier and cheaper for millions of people.

The outcome could have a major impact on the city's budget, as the disputed measure is coupled with a proposal to sell 2,000 new yellow-cab permits, or medallions. Officials have estimated that could make the city more than $1.4 billion over several years.


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