The Uber vs. New York City Taxi battle has been waging for quite some time now. The rise of ride-sharing apps has decreased the value of medallions, and many yellow cab drivers have defected to work for Uber, leaving the New York City taxi industry in an unforeseen crisis. But the city’s taxi industry has just brought out a new big gun: Arro, an app for hailing yellow and green cabs. Eighteen months in the making, the app is almost identical to the service UberT, but without the $2 hailing fee or surge pricing, Crain’s New York reports.
Arro is currently being beta-tested in 7,000 cabs. When it rolls out publicly in September, it will be compatible with the city’s 20,000 yellow and green taxis. “It’s a universal e-hail app for all the yellows and greens in New York,” Mike Epley, director of product management at Arro, told Crain’s.
Arro stands a better chance of competing with Uber than other cab-hailing apps, like Lyft and Hailo, thanks to a partnership with Long Island City-based Creative Mobile Technologies. This company controls the payment systems and video screens in about half of the city’s yellow taxis, so when you hail a cab with Arro, the data will be sent directly to CMT’s data terminals in the front of cabs. When you hail a cab with Uber, on the other hand, it’s sent to a Smartphone on the driver’s dashboard. “Our solution is integrated with the taxi, whereas Uber’s is not,” said Epley, who worked for CMT before leaving to launch Arro.
Still, it won’t be an easy competition with Uber, a company with $5 billion in funding.
[via Crain’s New York]