Yo! Finally, Smartphone Apps That Call a Taxi

Source: HailO

Residents and visitors can now hail a yellow taxi in the Big Apple using a smartphone app, and they'll soon be able to pay for a cab with their phone.

The e-hailing cab service Hailo begins its one-year trial in the New York area today, Ashwini Chhabra, deputy commissioner of policy and programs for the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC), said at the TechCrunch conference Wednesday.

Hailo users will still have to pay their fare via card or cash, but soon they'll have a smartphone alternative to that, as well.

"In 60 days you will be able to hail and pay from your smartphone," said Hailo CEO Jay Bregman. "That is historic."

(Read More: Taxi Apps: Changing the World While New York Waits)

The state already permits e-hailing for livery cars, but until recently, TLC regulations prohibited the same service for yellow taxis.

(Read More: App Lets Users Hail Taxi from Smartphone)

The rules were changed last year to allow the service for yellow cabs for a trial period, but those changes were challenged in court by a group mostly composed of livery car owners. Their suit was dismissed last week by State Supreme Court Judge Carol Huff, allowing the trial of e-hailing apps to begin.

Uber, another e-hailing app, launched its yellow taxi pilot Tuesday night.

With Hailo, people download the app, enter some basic information and their credit card details. A user who wants a taxi opens the app and taps its interface, and a pick-up signal goes out to cabs in the vicinity.

Hailo operates in 11 cities and has raised more than $50 million from investors, including Union Square Ventures, Accel Partners, Wellington Partners, Atomico Ventures and Sir Richard Branson.

Contact Technology


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    To learn more about how we use your information,
    please read our Privacy Policy.
    › Learn More

Squawk Alley