Saturday, June 9, 2012

This Week in Taxi News

It's been a big week for taxi news. Here are some links from around the world:
Alan Fels, who has been leading the Taxi Industry Inquiry project in Victoria, Australia, released the draft report for comment. This is about a systematic a study of the taxi industry completed in decades. Hopefully this type of work will be repeated in other cities and cities can learn from each other about how to better serve users with taxi services.

Two writers in Slate have a nice piece about the economic perversity of New York's medallion system.

GetTaxi, an Israeli company, just received $20 million in venture capital money to build an app to help book taxis. (h/t DL)This is a crowded field. From the story:
It’s also worth noting that GetTaxi could be attempting to blindside Hailo by getting a foothold in The City That Never Sleeps. New York was the obvious contender for Hailo’s first foray into North America, but it seems that regulations are rather tight there which is why it’s opting to start off its North American operations in Chicago first. Though Hailo co-founder Jay Bregman tells us that he has now fully re-located to NYC to manage its rollout there, and it has a team working towards a full launch there some time in the autumn.
This is in addition to our teams in Chicago, Toronto, Boston, and Dublin, which are all now fully staffed and barreling toward full launches before the end of the year.
Of course the biggest news was that NYC's outer borough taxi plan was blocked by the courts. This is a major development and we don't know what exactly this means for the future of the program. For those in NYC and interested, on June 26 the University Transportation Research Center (UTRC) is sponsoring a seminar "Taxi and Livery: Issues of Today and Tomorrow" at Baruch. Flyer here, and it will be webcast for those who can't attend.