It had look like e-hailing service Uber and yellow taxi drivers in New York City had finally reached a victory, with the city approving a 12-month e-hailing pilot program to test allowing customers to hail yellow taxis from an app or other electronic service. Yesterday, Uber had announced its return to NYC, along with a few details about its service. A mere 24 hours later, the service has been blocked…again.
The approval, however, didn’t stop livery cab drivers and others from continuing to go after the program, and today they saw at least a temporary victory, with Appellate Division Associate Justice Helen E. Freedman tossing out an emergency injunction against the e-hailing program and calling for a fast review by a panel of judges in appeals court.
The livery cab drivers’ attorney Randy Mastro said in an email to Bloomberg: “This faux ‘pilot program’ is so fundamentally flawed and illegal in so many respects that it had to be stopped. And now it once again has been.” Such a change comes at a bad time for the e-hailing service Hailo, which had temporarily been denounced for working outside of the rules of the program, but that just received its approval by the TLC today.
The current expectation is that the panel of judges will hear the case some time this month, although that hasn’t been officially confirmed. All of this follows the lift on the first ban that took place last week by NY Supreme Court Justice Carole Huff, who addressed and dismissed many of the claims against the program, including ones about facilitating discrimination and making things harder on the elderly.