The Department of Transportation in Los Angeles is racing the clock to give traditional taxi cabs a fighting chance. Last year, the Department of Transportation announced that they would be re-designing Los Angeles’ taxi system and most importantly implementing a new app-based hailing system to compete with Uber and Lyft.
However, as November voting draws nearer and the fate of Uber and Lyft rests on Prop. 22, the department of Transportation and taxi cab companies are feeling the pressure to get the new taxi app hailing system up and working. Previously, the desire to switch to app based taxi hailing was a last ditch effort for taxi cabs to simply try and compete with Uber and Lyft. However, if Prop. 22 fails and Uber and Lyft leave L.A., Taxis might have a real shot at taking back marketshare majority.
“Should Uber and Lyft bow out of California, or Los Angeles in particular, we’ll have something that can fill the vacuum as much as possible with an easier, seamless transition for the actual customer,” said Jarvis Murray, for-hire transportation administrator for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.
Furthermore, if Uber and Lyft do leave L.A., there will be a lot of drivers out of work who may be looking to switch to the taxi industry. This switch would be almost seamless for drivers as under new rules they would be allowed to driver their own vehicles so long as they had the required decal identifying them as a cab.
Currently many independent Los Angeles taxi companies have their own apps but the Department of Transportation recognizes the important of one seamless app system that can reach every taxi driver in L.A. They really want this new app to feel as comfortable to the user as the Uber and Lyft app.
Once the new app is in place, users will also be able to see their fare upfront and the age-old taxi meter will finally be retired. With so much on the line, the Department of Transportation for L.A. has stated that they are fast-tracking this project with hopes to be up and running by election day.