Taxi E-Hailing Test Gets Green Light in NYC

New York City Taxi
Christoph SahleA taxi in NYC.

The ability to hail a taxi from your smartphone is probably in the immediate future for New Yorkers. NYC has been testing e-hailing so passengers can more easily retrieve a taxi. The city recently received the green light from an appeals court to keep moving forward.

A pre-arranged ride has been traditionally prohibited for NYC yellow taxis. When the city began developing the e-hailing system, car services sued, citing that they rely on pre-arranged rides for their income and that the new developments are unfair to their business. This ruling from the appeals court means city taxis are one step closer to being at your beck and call, even if you’re deep into Brooklyn and there isn’t a yellow taxi in sight.

City to Decide on New Taxi Service

Taxi Drivers: You Wouldn’t Believe The Stuff They See

If you usually only take a taxi while peacefully commuting around town, you might not realize that taxi drivers are thankful when passengers like you get in the car. Why? Because they spend a good chunk of their time driving crazy, drunk, ill-willed, or otherwise kind of scary people around. VICE, bless their heart, recently did a piece focusing on some of the ridiculous things taxi drivers have experienced –- and a drunk person puking in the car doesn’t even make the list. These are stories of getaway cars for bank robberies, death threats, near-fatal accidents and full-on backseat brawls. Check out the full story here.Couple Accidentally Left Child in Taxi While Trying to Catch Plane

NYC Taxi Driver Shoots Stunning Photos From Behind The Wheel

David Bradford isn’t your average New York City taxi driver. His days “at the office” are directed by the skill that sets him apart from other taxi drivers: he’s a photographer. Bradford’s canvas is New York City as he sees it throughout his day, from a behind-the-steering-wheel vantage point. He has published several books, most notably “Drive-By Shootings: Photographs by a New York City Taxi Driver,” and he was recently the subject of a New York Moment video, featured above.

Bradford started out as a visual artist with an emphasis on drawing from photographs and a degree from Rhode Island School of Design in illustration. When he moved to NYC after graduating college, he began photographing NYC, originally as fodder for his drawings. But Bradford soon discovered that his photographs stood as pieces on their own and began pursuing the art form.

%Slideshow-79433%When Bradford began working as an art director for Saks Fifth Avenue fashion shoots, he experienced swift success with images appearing in the New York Times and other national magazines. After devoting a decade to this type of work, Bradford decided to go freelance, hoping to devote more of his time toward his personal art. When he responded to an ad for taxi drivers, he had intended to use the job as a means to an end and spend his free time working on his own pursuits. However, according to Bradford, he realized on the first day of the job, as he sat inspired behind the steering wheel and saw NYC in motion, that he would have to combine his photography with his work.

His photographs from the taxi, much like his initial art, were turned into drawings in the beginning. But Bradford discovered the medium of the camera all over again.

“I was on the lookout for truth and beauty with interesting light. With the right light, anything can be beautiful,” he said to me in an email. “This city is like a moody person. So I shoot her right back and capture that vibration.”

[Photo Credit: David Bradford]

Taxi Driver Dances To

Call An Ice Cream Truck On Demand Today With Uber

Today is the hottest day yet in New York City’s latest heat wave, and the summer weather is no less forgiving in many other cities in the western hemisphere. To help beat the heat, car service app Uber is offering ice cream trucks on demand, today only from 11-5 p.m. in 33 cities worldwide. The stunt is to help promote the app’s expansion to new cities in the United States and in Australia, Europe and Singapore.

Demand is expected to be high and waits may be long, but if you want to try for a truck, download the Uber app and connect with your credit card info, request the ice cream app, and wait for one to show up in your area. Prices and ice cream treats vary, average is $25 for ice cream for five people. The full list of U.S. cities includes: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco Bay area, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

New to Uber cities include Miami, Portland (OR), Houston, Toronto, Sydney, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Lyon, Milan, Munich, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, and Singapore. Incidentally, those are all cities where you can get a car and driver on demand anytime with Uber.

See all the details and get your ice cream on Uber’s blog.

New Orleans Cabs Upgraded With Soda Vending Machines

Between the comfort food and the free-spirited partying, New Orleans is certainly a city that knows how to make visitors feel at home. Now, its cabbies are encouraging travelers to kick back and relax with a refreshing drink via new in-vehicle vending machines.

For 99 cents, those traveling in a local taxi are able to purchase a can of soda on the spot. Using a seat-back media screen, passengers can choose from a range of drink options before swiping their card to make the payment. Within moments, a cold can of soda is ejected from the back of the passenger seat.Simon Garber, who owns the New Orleans Carriage Cab and Yellow-Checker Cab companies, came up with the vending machine concept after his son suggested the idea. It took him four years to fine-tune the drinks dispenser, which works by connecting to a fridge holding several dozen cans of soda.

So far, Garber has installed the drink machine in 40 New Orleans taxis, but he hopes to expand the service to other cities including Chicago and New York. Garber says one day, the technology could also be used to sell cologne, umbrellas and other travel necessities.

[via Harriet Baskas]

[Photo credit: Flickr user Sigmar]