In the coming weeks, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission is expected to enter into its first trial of taxi e-hail apps. That’ll allow startups like Hailo that help users find nearby cabs through their mobile phones, without having to hail them from the street. At the same time, competition is coming from services like SideCar, which enables passengers to find rides from community drivers.
All these changes will have a significant impact not just on consumers — who will soon have more choices than ever — but on the entire urban transportation industry. There’s the question of how regulators view the safety of mobile, on-demand transportation services, particularly those which provide rides from drivers without commercial licenses. There’s also the difficult balance between regulation and innovation, particularly as the taxi industry seeks to compete with the convenience provided by technology startups like Uber?
At Disrupt NY 2013, I’ll be talking about some of the companies involved in this transition, as well as the local regulatory agency which oversees them, to discuss how these apps will reshape the way we think about getting around cities like New York.
I’ll be joined by NY TLC Deputy Commissioner Ashwini Chhabra, who will present the side of the regulators in this debate. Over the last year, he’s been working with local taxi companies, tech startups, and technology providers, to make supporting e-hail applications a reality in the city.
We’ll also have Jay Bregman, CEO of taxi e-hail startup Hailo. Already operating a wildly popular service in the U.K., Hailo will be one of the first apps to take advantage of the TLC’s new e-hail rules. Prior to founding Hailo, Bregman was the founder and CTO of eCourier.co.uk, a company which used GPS for an intelligent dispatch system.
And rounding out our panel will be Sunil Paul, CEO of ride-sharing startup SideCar. After a successful run in San Francisco, SideCar is aggressively expanding into other markets, including Brooklyn, N.Y. Prior to founding SideCar, this tech veteran had co-founded companies like FreeLoader and anti-spam leader Brightmail, and has also been an investor in a number of cleanweb technologies and startups.
Jay Bregman is the Founder / CEO of Hailo – a network that matches passengers and licensed taxi drivers using a tool which helps to make cabbies’ days more sociable – and profitable. Hailo has raised $50M in investment from an all-star cast of investors including Union Square Ventures, Accel Partners, Wellington Partners, Atomico Ventures, Richard Branson and KDDI. Together they’ve funded Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and Tumblr, founded Skype, and brought loads of other fanatistic companies to life all over the world.
Previously Jay founded eCourier.co.uk which was voted London’s most inspirational business by the Evening Standard in 2007. He holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an MSc from the London School of Economics. Jay was named on the Times’ 100 People to Watch in 2012.
He now lives in New York City managing Hailo’s North American expansion.
Sunil Paul is co-founder and CEO of rideshare community SideCar. SideCar has operations in San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Austin, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Brooklyn, NY. Sunil coined the term “cleanweb” to describe the aggressive application of social, mobile, and Internet media to accelerate cleantech deployment and restructure sectors as diverse as hotels, automobiles, agriculture and food, clothing, buildings, lighting and renewable finance. SideCar is a realization of Sunil’s cleanweb vision.