The Taxi and Limousine Commission is set to vote on a pilot program that will give yellow and green taxi drivers the ability to offer customers upfront pricing, similar to how Uber and Lyft does, as well as the option to use surge pricing to determine their own rates, reports Politico.
Passengers will have to use an app to request a yellow taxi cab and will be given a set price before their ride commences. The company that will provide that app hasn’t been determined yet but companies that hold an e-hail license will be allowed to participate. Taxis that are hailed on the street will be exempt from the pilot and will continue to operate based on the current taxi fare rates and meters.
The pilot program is intended to give the city’s yellow cabs a chance to compete with popular ride-hailing apps and is hoping that upfront pricing will attract more customers. If approved, the commission will use the pilot program as a way to determine if there is a financial impact in allowing customers to book rides ahead of time.
The pilot program has prompted mixed reviews among taxi drivers. Some value the current fare system, stating that it provides transparency to riders and also state that the city should put more focus into reducing the number of Uber and Lyft vehicles that are allowed to operate.
Last October, Uber ridership finally surpassed that of yellow taxis, with the former witnessing an average of 289,000 rides per day, whereas yellow cabs only managed 277,000.