App to e-hail yellow cabs launches in New York City

May 1, 2013 4:51:28 AM PDT
A service that allows New York City passengers to use an app to electronically hail yellow cabs has officially launched.

Uber Technologies CEO Travis Kalanick announced Tuesday that cab riders can now e-hail a ride on their smartphones through the company's taxi app at no charge.

On Friday, city officials said Uber will facilitate the e-hails in a one-year pilot program.

Last week, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed mainly by livery cab owners, allowing a city plan to experiment with the e-hailing system to see whether it leads to a dearth of cabs or other problems.

Car service owners say e-hailing unfairly blurs a legal line between yellow and livery cabs, which are barred from picking up passengers on streets and depend on prearranged rides.