These cars are butt ugly, but I have to say from a functionality perspective they do the trick. They are wheelchair accessable, roomy, and suited for city traffic. The suspension on them is a bit rough (they actually rattle on city roads), but other than that, I had no complaints ridiing in them. And the drivers I talked to (going to get bombed for this from Millenium Cab) enjoyed driving them.
hmmm.... I was under the impression they were, but I moved out of NY in April, and may have forgotten
I think they can hold wheelchairs, but you need help to get one in...
I remember that being an issue when the decision was made.
A sampling of GPS co-ordinates for taxi pickups (yellow & green) since the green outer borough cabs launched:
(Staten Island might as well be annexed by New Jersey)
You'd be surprised how many yellow NYC T-Cabs I see making drop offs here in Jersey City while I've only seen one green one.
If 2 New Yorkers Shared a Cab ...
By KENNETH CHANG and JOSHUA A. KRISCHSEPT
nathema to New Yorkers. But a team of mathematicians and engineers has calculated that if taxi riders were willing to share a cab, New York City could reduce the current fleet of 13,500 taxis up to 40 percent, in that way unclogging traffic, conserving fuel and fighting air pollution.“The predicted economic and environmental savings are considerable,” said Steven Strogatz, a mathematician at Cornell and an author of a paper describing the findings, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The researchers wanted to know whether the principles of the “sharing economy” typified by services like Airbnb, in which people rent out their apartments like hotel rooms, could be applied to taxis.
“Think of how much spare capacity you have in taxis in New York City,” said another team member, Carlo Ratti, the director of the Senseable City Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “You’re at a hotel, you’re going to J.F.K. Airport, and you take a taxi. And just minutes later, there’s somebody else taking another taxi, half empty, to J.F.K.”
Where the 13,586 registered taxis in 2011 made 170 million pickups and dropoffs in New York City. Yellow dots are pickups and blue dots are dropoffs.
To study ride-sharing scenarios, the researchers delved into a database compiled by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission that included information about each of the 172 million taxi rides in the city in 2011: where the passenger was picked up and dropped off, time of pickup and time of drop-off.
Then, applying a computational technique known as shareability networks, they combined trips that were headed in the same direction at the same time without taking the passengers too far out of their way.
They found that sharing would reduce the number of trips, and the number of taxis, by 40 percent and that passengers would still arrive in the same amount of time, give or take a few minutes. (The analysis did not look at how many people were riding in each cab. Newer data does include the number of passengers.)
“You can think about the matching of two trips as a chemical reaction between two molecules, which is a function of their concentration,” Dr. Ratti said.
The team acknowledged that such a system could not be implemented without changes in the way people hail taxis.
Much of the inefficiency in the current system results from a driver’s not knowing the destination until after the pickup. The same inefficiency occurs with elevators in office buildings, where some end up stopping at every floor while others speed to a single floor without interruption.
In some newer buildings, riders press the floor button in the lobby, and the elevator system can use computer algorithms to allocate the rides more efficiently. Similarly, if a taxi passenger specified a destination before being picked up, a sophisticated dispatching system could begin figuring out which rides could be shared.
Smartphone apps, already used by taxi services like Uber and Lyft, could make that possible. Indeed, both companies recently announced shared-ride services, named Uberpool and Lyft Line.
Chelsea Wilson, a communications manager at Lyft, said its service was started after data showed that 90 percent of Lyft rides in San Francisco had someone else taking the same trip within five minutes.
“When you look at this on a map, it starts to look like a transit line,” she wrote in an email. “That’s what we are creating with Lyft Line: shared, personal transit.”
The authors of the new study have set up a website, hubcab.org, that allows anyone to explore the taxi ride database.
Dr. Ratti said that if self-driving cars ever came to pass, the transformation of cities could be “quite astonishing.”
In preliminary research not reported in the current paper, the scientists looked at what would happen if most people combined self-driving cars with shared ridership. They concluded that four out of five cars in the city today could become superfluous.
The team also looked at a subset of the New York database and determined that ride sharing would provide environmental and cost benefits even in smaller cities.
Mason A. Porter, a professor of nonlinear and complex systems at the University of Oxford who was not involved with the research, praised the study, saying, “It definitely looks promising to use this perspective as one of the ways to examine the issue of transportation and ride-sharing.”
Others were more skeptical, noting that the researchers had not fine-tuned their calculations for some real-world complications. Luis M. A. Bettencourt, a professor at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, said the study made sense “technically,” but he wondered about unintended consequences.
If ride sharing induced people to abandon subways and buses, it could actually worsen traffic and pollution, he said, adding that there would be debates about the potential of putting thousands of taxi drivers out of work.
“This is not to say that it should not be done,” Dr. Bettencourt said, “but one would have to think these through some more and try them out in practice, I think.”
On the streets of New York City, the skepticism sounded more like a Bronx cheer.
“The whole thing strikes me as silly, and it will be ignored,” said Gene Salomon, the author of the 2013 book “Confessions of a New York Taxi Driver.”
In his 36 years as a cabby, Mr. Salomon said he had watched many ride-sharing programs come and go. The problem, he went on, is that passengers would rather pay extra for a private ride than split a fare with someone they’ve never met.
“New Yorkers do not like to share cabs,” he said.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission has expressed concern that commercial ride-sharing programs, especially those that crowdsource to recruit vehicles and drivers, may lack rigorous oversight.
“We have made our position quite clear. You must use T.L.C.-licensed drivers, in T.L.C.-licensed vehicles dispatched by licensed bases,” Allan Fromberg, the agency’s deputy commissioner for public affairs, wrote in an email.
The researchers acknowledge that many people have a visceral reluctance to hop into a taxi with strangers, but they said their work provided a numerical foundation for future debates. “People would need to know what the payoff would be,” Dr. Ratti said. “Then society could decide if it wants to go that way or not.”
Dr. Strogatz agreed. “These are tricky problems to think about,” he said, “and they’re not math problems, exactly.”
New Service Offers Taxis Exclusively for Women
By WINNIE HU
SEPT. 7, 2014
New Yorkers can already choose from yellow taxis, green cabs or black livery cars. They can tap a smartphone app for a ride, or simply stick out an arm. They can pay with cash or credit.
Now there is one more option: a female driver.
A new livery service starting Sept. 16 in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island will offer female drivers exclusively, for female riders, according to its founder. It will take requests for rides through an app, and dispatch drivers sporting hot pink pashmina scarves.
The service will be called SheTaxis — SheRides in New York City because of regulations barring it from using “taxi” in its name — and aims to serve women who may feel uncomfortable being driven by men, or who simply prefer the company of other women. The app will ask potential riders if there is a woman in their party. If not, they will be automatically redirected to other car services.
The app will be available only through Apple, starting on Sept. 16 and will eventually be made available for Android devices.
“Perfect idea,” declared Gretchen Britt, 51, a school clerk in Manhattan who uses cabs and livery cars three to four times a month, always driven by men. “You feel safer and more comfortable with a woman.”
It got a nod from one Bronx man, Gibson Pierrelouis, 22, even though he was told he could not use the service himself. That was fine, he said. He wanted it for his six sisters.
The women’s livery service was started by Stella Mateo, a mother of two daughters, who said that she could have used a female driver to help shuttle them to soccer, field hockey, basketball and gymnastics practices when they were growing up. Ms. Mateo’s husband, Fernando, is the founder of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, an industry group representing 30,000 taxi and livery drivers.
Ms. Mateo said she also saw her service as a way to help women join an industry that has long been dominated by men.
Of New York City’s 59,999 for-hire drivers of livery cars, green cabs, limousines and luxury sedans, only 2,952 of them, or 5 percent, are women, according to city data. Even fewer women drive yellow cabs: 574 out of 51,874 drivers, or 1 percent.
The new women’s service comes as the livery industry has become safer, in part, because of required measures, such as bullet-resistant partitions and security cameras in cars. During the 1990s, dozens of drivers were killed in a single year and many more assaulted or robbed. Even so, it can still be dangerous for men and women alike, as underscored last month by the fatal carjackings involving two male livery drivers in the Bronx.
Miriam Malave, 54, a livery driver in Brooklyn for three decades, said she gets more requests than she can handle, often from Hasidic women in Williamsburg who will only ride with women. Even so, she said, she continues to face discrimination from male drivers who tell her: “This is a man’s job. Go home and cook.”
SheTaxis will partner with existing livery companies to provide the rides at competitive rates, Ms. Mateo said. SheTaxis, which has a staff of six, has already recruited 50 female drivers, ranging in age from 21 to 70. The service will collect fares through its app, using credit or debit cards, and then send payments to the drivers. “I have a lot of friends, they think it’s dangerous picking up guys in the street,” said Stephanie Rodriguez, 21, a college student who earns about $700 a week driving a livery car in the Bronx.
Meera Joshi, chairwoman of the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission, said she saw it as another amenity for riders: “As with so many service industries, the for-hire vehicle industry continues to get more and more specialized in terms of the products and services it offers.”
Ms. Mateo said she envisions the livery service expanding to Washington, Miami, Chicago and other cities during the next year. Similar women’s driving services exist in other countries, including India.
At a recent lunch in Manhattan, more than a dozen livery company owners and their representatives welcomed the women drivers, with several noting that women tended to be their best employees. “We can recruit more women and provide better service to the community,” said Jose Viloria, the owner of Elegante car service, where currently only 10 of the 350 drivers are women.
Cristina Velos, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, said she decided to become a livery driver after 17 years as a hotel housekeeper, earning $25 an hour. “I think there’s more opportunity,” said Ms. Velos, 42. “You have more time for family. You feel more comfortable. You never have a supervisor.”
Lizette Colon, 30, a marketing representative for a liquor distributor, said she will not only drive for the service on weekends, she will use it herself when she goes to clubs. If she rides with a male driver, she said, she snaps a picture of his license with her cellphone and sends it to a friend as a precaution. “I really don’t like getting into a car with a stranger,” she said. “You don’t know anything about him.”
Others, like Josephina Soto, 25, an aspiring singer looking for flexible hours, said she saw her new job as empowering to women, both in the front seat and the back. As a teenager, she recalled, she once tired of men flirting with her while she was working out and joined a Lucille Roberts gym for women only.
“This is the cab version of the gym,” she said. “I love the whole SheTaxis thing. Most of the time, there’s a lot of men-to-men stuff, but it’s not usually about the women.”
Guys! In 2016 with a variety of ride-hailing services, using taxi in NYC really sucks! It’s time to stop this rip-off yellow plague! It’s equally irrational to be a cab driver, too. Just check out what perks you get while driving, let’s say, for Lyft I think NYC taxi drivers should reconsider their job opportunities.