Both Uber and Square are halting their taxi pilot programs in NY. Both companies have tried negotiating with the Taxi and Limousine Commission in NY to allow riders to use their products. Uber currently has an app that lets people hail black cars and vans, but according to The Verge, had to ask cab drivers in their taxi program to return their company-issued iPhones after just a month of operation. Square, a mobile payment company, ended its trial after seven months because of regulation issues with credit card payments in cabs, according to PC Mag.
Cab drivers that worked with Uber claim the company sprung the closure of the taxi program on them. Additionally, taxis are still being advertised in Uber’s app, but attempts to hail a cab return the message: “We’re sorry, no TAXIs are available right now.” After Uber launched their cab-hailing program, they encountered regulations from the TLC, like tipping restrictions and disallowing cabbies to use cellphones. The TLC was hesitant to allow Uber’s program to run, and after the launch it threatened to fine or revoke the licenses of cab drivers who agreed to work with Uber.
Square had its plan approved by the TLC in March to replace the TVs in cabs with iPads. During the ride, users would have the ability to swipe their credit cards at any point during their ride. Their program was expected to run until February, but was cut short. TLC spokesman Allen Fromberg said of the collaboration with Square, “From the TLC’s standpoint, it’s achieved every goal we had set for it, and we learned lessons about alternative technologies that we’ll be applying to projects well into the future. It was a total success.”