New app lets riders hail a NYC cab by smartphone

August 8, 2012 - 5:42 PM
New York Taxi App

Martin Heikel, co-founder of ZabKab, displays the passenger hailing ZabKab app on his smartphone, in New York, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. Hailing a taxi on a New York street is going high-tech, with a smartphone application. Starting Wednesday, a passenger can send out a hailing signal to all cabs within a four or five-block area. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — Hailing a taxi on a New York street is going high-tech — with a smartphone application.

Starting Wednesday, a passenger can send out a hailing signal to cabs with a matching app, within about a five-block area.

Martin Heikel, co-founder of the ZabKab app, says the venture started when business partner Ben Millspaugh felt frustrated "not being able to get a cab when and where he needed one."

So far, Heikel says about 1,000 of the city's more than 13,000 yellow cab drivers have downloaded the app.

When a hailing icon pops up, the driver sees the passenger's location.

Drivers will be charged $14.95 a month, or $9.95 on a six-month subscription — after several promotional, cost-free months.

The passenger app is free of charge.