Popular App barred from Processing Taxi Fares In New York City
Uber allowed riders to book taxis using an iPhone app or the company website. They could make payment using a credit card, kept on file by the company. The app was launched on Wednesday in over 100 cabs plying in the New York City.
The glory of the app could not last long as on Thursday David Yassky, chairman of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, forbid drivers from accepting payments using this app.
The reason behind this knee-jerk reaction from the commission stems from the fact that two companies, Creative Mobile Technologies and Verifone, are already providing backseat credit processing technology to city cabs.
The drivers who process payments using any other payment processor, including Uber, risk hefty penalties and their licenses could find their licenses revoked or suspended. The commission, said Yassky, can consider framing of rules for payment processing via apps once the current contracts expire.
Travis Kalanick, Uber's chief executive, is naturally pissed-off with the commission's ruling. The company is evaluating its options, he said. It may continue its operations in the city by helping riders to find taxis, but not process payments.
"It takes time for them to digest it," he said. "With Uber, people are getting around New York much more efficiently. They are getting rides in outer boroughs where they couldn't get a taxi before. Drivers are making a better living wage. Uber is making New York City a better place."
More trouble may be headed Uber's way as the officials claim that the company has violated city rules prohibiting cab drivers from refusing fares, use electronic devices and accepting pre-arranged rides.
Uber currently provides its services in 17 cities of the world.