Hailo can block passengers and drivers for bad behavior, but the question now looms whether the TLC will block Hailo for jumping the gun.
Update: Hailo has been approved. Read story here.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission is currently in the process of approving e-hail apps, and released a message on Friday that Uber was the first provider to be approved. That same day, Hailo sent out an email inviting select users to participate in the startup’s live Beta.
On Monday, TLC issued the first email alerting drivers and the public that Hailo had not [yet] been approved for participation in the pilot program.
Skift reached out to the Taxi and Limousine Commission to see where Hailo was in the approval process, but TLC spokesperson Allan Fromberg could neither confirm or discuss applicant identities or status.
He did reiterate that “drivers who use an unauthorized app are subject to summonses.”
Drivers; however, seem to be misinformed as recently as this Sunday when I used the Hailo app for the first time. I took a cab downtown from Port Authority and paid a $14 meter for a route that would cost $19 with a similar car service.
The driver was excited about the new technology. When I asked him about using other apps like Uber, he replied that he used Hailo because it “is a Taxi and Limousine Commission-approved application.”
In response to questions from Skift about this particular matter, Hailo spokesperson Alix Fang responded. “New York deserves choice. We believe the TLC and the City share our goals for an open market of innovative new technologies like e-hail. We are meeting with the TLC today and we are very excited to deliver on Mayor Bloomberg and David Yassky’s vision for bringing e-hailing, including e-payment and a seamless tap to taxi experience to the drivers and passengers of NYC.”
Today, a message stating “system maintenance in progress” appears on the Hailo app and users are unable to tap to summon a cab.
Photo credit: A taxi cuts through the rain in New York City. Baptiste Pons / Flickr