Hailo cabs, the smartphone taxi-hailing system sometimes described as the U.K.’s version of U.S.-based Uber, is poised to expand next month: To New York. The Financial Times reports the app has been downloaded by 10,600 of the roughly 23,000 black cab drivers in London and nearly a quarter of a million smartphone customers. It’s already achieved success in Dublin, Ireland, and a short list of North American cities. Thanks to the way Hailo’s commissions work, New York cab hailing via Hailo will cost $1.50 per ride.
Hailo’s expansion into the complex world of New York taxi cabs is backed by Union Square Ventures. It’s following a path beaten by Uber, which has had difficulty breaking into the mess of laws and contracts that govern the city’s cab system–to the point that it was once ruled illegal.
Is it time that smart, tech-forward companies like Hailo really disrupted the law-bound status quo of taxi hailing in many cities?