New York City approves its first taxi e-hailing service

You might recall the drama that resulted when electronic taxi-hailing services first hit the streets of New York City, something we expounded on earlier this week when an NYC judge approved a one-year test pilot for using apps to summon a ride. It didn't take long for Uber to get permission from the Taxi and Limousine Commission to offer its service. Meanwhile, rival Hailo has launched a beta test without going through the proper channels, causing the TLC to condemn its usage.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission announced earlier this evening that it has approved Uber, making it the first to get the go-ahead for offering electronic yellow taxi-cab hailing in New York City. The 12-month program for testing the effects of what it refers to as e-hailing in the state officially starts counting down from today. The announcement states that more services will be approved in the future.

The TLC has added a section on e-hailing to its website, and will update it with those who are officially authorized to provide their service in New York City. You can check out the list here for yourself. Taxi drivers are forbidden from using services that have not gone through the proper channels and received the go ahead, something that is a sticking point for the 5,000 or so using Hailo, which just launched a beta program. A TLC spokesperson told Gizmodo "it appear that Hail-O is operating outside of [the e-hail program]."

Said the TLC's Chairman David Yassky: " There are several other companies in various stages of our approval process with others sure to join them, and we are excited about the prospect of seeing the universe of choices expand. The passengers have spoken and the Bloomberg administration listened...people want the opportunity to decide whether new technology can improve their taxi experience, and today, that option is available to them."

[via Gawker]