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Judge allows taxi app in New York City

April 24, 2013 at 9:09 AM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, April 24 (UPI) -- A State Supreme Court justice has dismissed a lawsuit aimed at stopping New York City's plans to allow taxi riders to hail cabs using smartphone apps.

Judge Carol E. Huff is allowing the city's apps pilot program to proceed, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Last month, Huff issued a temporary restraining order on the plan after cab operators sued the city.

The plaintiffs argued that the city's taxi app plan would make it easier for drivers to refuse fares, and that it discriminated against those who do not use smartphones.

They also argued the use of the apps would violate the city's rule against prearranged rides in cabs, and cited the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission decision in 1985 that barred taxis from using two-way radio communication to arrange pickups.

But Huff disagreed in her ruling released Tuesday.

"Petitioners have not demonstrated that the 1985 radio-dispatch situation with taxis is sufficiently comparable to the proposed e-hail program," she wrote, "so that the same problems of taxi unavailability and passenger discrimination are destined to occur."

The lawyer representing the plaintiffs, Randy Mastro, said his clients were contemplating an appeal.

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